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September 13, 2013

Is Flat Inflation Suckering the Fed?

September 13, 2013

Is Flat Inflation Suckering the Fed?

PPI (August 2013)

– PPI core (less food & energy) Month/Month +0.0%

– PPI core (less food & energy) Year/Year +1.2%

– PPI Month/Month (overall) 0.3%

– PPI Year/Year (overall) 1.4%

Factoring out the bouncy food and energy components inflation at the wholesale level was flat last month.

Some time in the future folks may look back on the Fed’s massive expansion of money supply while inflation was so low and believe that money supply was expanded so much that it caused inflation yet to be seen.  Low inflation give the Fed an excuse to continue QE which has not been effective since the added money supply continues to sit at the Fed parked as excess reserves.  Drawing down this massively expanded money supply without adverse effects may not prove to be a simple task.

Retail Sales (August 2013)

– Retail Sales Month/Month +0.2%. Previous revised from +0.2 to +0.4%

– Retail Sales less autos Month/Month +0.1%. Previous revised from +0.5% to +0.6%

– Less Autos & Gas Month/Month +0.1%. Previous revised from +0.4% to +0.6%.

With the revisions to July the data is neutral rather than weak.