2018 Economic Calendar
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Consumer Price Index  
Released On 3/13/2018 8:30:00 AM For Feb, 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
CPI - M/M change0.5 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.4 %0.2 %
CPI - Y/Y change2.1 %2.2 %2.1 % to 2.3 %2.2 %
CPI less food & energy- M/M change0.3 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.3 %0.2 %
CPI less food & energy - Y/Y change1.8 %1.9 %1.8 % to 2.0 %1.8 %

Last week's average hourly earnings did in fact set the pace for February's inflation readings, and the word is subdued. The CPI and the core CPI both managed only 0.2 percent increases as was expected with the year-on-year rates at 2.2 percent overall, which was also expected, but at only 1.8 percent for the core which is 1 tenth under Econoday's consensus.

A give back in transportation costs held down prices in February with the component unchanged following a strong gain in January. New vehicle prices fell 0.5 percent in the month with used car prices down 0.3 percent, both echoing flat consumer demand for vehicles. Communication costs were also weak with wireless telephone services, which began to jump about this time last year, down 0.5 percent in the month. Medical care fell 0.1 percent in the month with recreation flat.

Showing price strength for a second month is apparel led in February by men's apparel and especially apparel for boys. Housing rose 0.3 percent in the month though the closely watched owners' equivalent rent subcomponent gained only 0.2 percent.

Prices are not risking extra vigilance from the Federal Reserve. Until wages get moving, overall inflation may very well continue to run flat with only the slightest hint of upward pitch.

Consensus Outlook
Indications of price pressures for wholesalers and importers have yet to appear in force in consumer prices . Though the prior report for January did show higher costs for basics, only a limited increase is expected for February's core rate (less food & energy) which is seen up a modest 0.2 percent with the year-on-year expected to rise 1 tenth to 1.9 percent. The consensus for the headline CPI is also a monthly gain of 0.2 percent for a yearly rate that is also seen up 1 tenth, to 2.2 percent.

The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the change in the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. That is the index shows the change in price levels since the index base period, currently 1982-84 = 100. Monthly changes in the CPI represent the rate of inflation.  Why Investors Care
It is always a good idea to look at more than a few months of data to get a sense of changes in established trends. Monthly changes in the CPI are mainly volatile because of sharp fluctuations in food and energy prices. The core CPI eliminates the sharper fluctuations.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
Yearly changes tend to smooth out more severe monthly fluctuations and give a better idea of the underlying rate of inflation. Even with the smoother trend, note that the core CPI does not fluctuate as much as the total CPI.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/122/143/134/115/106/127/128/109/1310/1111/1412/12
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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