The Consumer Price Index blew past expectations in October as the “transitory” inflation narrative continues to unwind. CPI was up 0.9%. On an annual basis, the inflation rate was 6.2% compared with a 5.9% estimate. It was the highest annual CPI gain since 1990. The CPI stole the headlines, but the Producer Price Index also came in hotter than expected, up 8.6% on a year-on-year basis. After the PPI came out, Peter Schiff appeared on RT Boom Bust to talk about it.
He said double-barrel inflation is locked and loaded.
The October Consumer Price Index data came out this week. They expected it to come in hot. But not this hot. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey digs into the CPI numbers, along with another inflation index that looks even worse, and he wonders out loud how anybody can still buy into this “transitory” inflation narrative.
The October CPI data came in even hotter than expected, and we saw widespread price increases across multiple categories.
The following provides an in-depth analysis of the most recent CPI data.
Much hotter than expected CPI data for October stole the spotlight on Wednesday, but there was more bad news on the inflation front that received less attention. The annual Producer Price Index (PPI) increase in October tied September’s record, as rising producer prices continue to undercut the “transitory inflation” narrative.
The consumer price index was expected to come in hot yet again in October. It came in sizzling.
The actual CPI numbers for last month were even hotter than expected as “transitory” inflation remained well above 5% on an annual basis for the sixth straight month.
The CPI data for September came in hotter than expected at 0.4%. That pushed the yearly gain to 5.4%. But an honest CPI calculation would come in even hotter.
I am doing something different this month. In past reviews of the CPI, I typically take the BLS data and recalculate the values to get a more detailed number that is rounded to two decimal points instead of one. This methodology also allows me to show the impact of each component on the top-line number.
With CPI data once again coming in hotter than expected, it’s getting harder and harder for the mainstream to swallow the “transitory inflation” narrative.
And some people are starting to worry.
During an earnings call, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon expressed concerns about higher than expected and persistent inflation ahead.
September CPI came in above expectations. At this point, even the central bankers at the Federal Reserve are having a hard time sticking to the “transitory inflation” narrative.
In his podcast, Peter Schiff talked about the CPI report. He said it reveals that we’re entering an inflation super-cycle and perhaps the markets are starting to figure this out.
Peter called this the “government report card on inflation,” noting that it’s not particularly reliable because the government is grading itself.
The Fed has an inflation problem.
The CPI is running well above the mythical 2% target and there isn’t any sign that it will ease soon. To deal with this problem, the central bank should tighten its monetary policy. But that would create a whole new problem, given that it can’t tighten in this economic environment. So, what is a central banker to do?
Well, if the Fed can’t hit the target, how about just moving the target?
CPI data came in slightly cooler than expected for August, giving new energy to the “transitory” inflation narrative. But can we really trust these numbers? In this episode, Friday Gold Wrap host Mike Maharrey takes a deep dive into the CPI and considers this question. He also touches on the big gold sell-off Thursday sparked by surprisingly good retail sales numbers.