201711.15
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Can’t Hide From The CPI

On the vital matter of missing symmetry, consumer price indices across the world keep suggesting there remains none. Recoveries were called “V” shaped for a reason. Any economy knocked down would be as intense in getting back up, normal cyclical forces creating momentum for that to (only) happen. In the context of the past three…

201711.09
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The Inflation of China’s Condition

One day after the China’s government reported disappointing but consistent trade figures, that country’s National Bureau of Statistics published inflation estimates that are being branded at least on this side of the Pacific as some degree of “hot.” As is usually the case, the characterization is wildly off. China is no closer now to an…

201710.16
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Global Inflation Continues To Underwhelm

Chinese producer prices accelerated in September 2017, while consumer price increases slowed. The National Bureau of Statistics reported this weekend that China’s PPI was up 6.9% year-over-year, a quicker pace than the 6.3% estimated for August and a 5.5% rate in July. Earlier in the year producer prices were driven mostly by 2016’s oil rebound,…

201709.29
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Non-Transitory Meandering

Monetary officials continue to maintain that inflation will eventually meet their 2% target on a sustained basis. They have no other choice, really, because in a monetary regime of rational expectations for it not to happen would require a radical overhaul of several core theories. Outside of just the two months earlier this year, the…

201709.14
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The CPI Comes Home

There seems to be an intense if at times acrimonious debate raging inside the Federal Reserve right now. The differences go down to its very core philosophies. Just over a week ago, Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer abruptly resigned from the Board of Governors even though many believed he was a possible candidate to replace Chairman…

201709.11
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China: Where A Rising Currency Is Meant To Be Inflationary

As much as officials in Beijing may outwardly fight it, they are still in the “dollar” business. It’s not raw conjecture, either. Though we don’t know the specifics of their policy positions, in this context we don’t need to know them; it’s all right there on the central bank balance sheet. The most prominent thing…

201708.22
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Context For The Inflation ‘Debate’

You can understand to some small degree economists’ collective confusion about inflation. They believe in wage dynamics, where a recession through mass layoffs creates slack and thus depresses wages. The recovery in a period of robust growth re-employs those unfortunate workers, and after enough time when that slack is reduced or even eliminated wages accelerate…

201708.14
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Data Dependent: Interest Rates Have Nowhere To Go

In October 2015, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Bill Dudley admitted that the US economy might be slowing. In the typically understated fashion befitting the usual clownshow, he merely was acknowledging what was by then pretty obvious to anyone outside the economics profession. Dudley was at that moment, however, undaunted. His eye was cast toward the…

201708.07
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The Center Of The Inflation Debate

The mainstream media is about to be presented with another (small) gift. In its quest to discredit populism, the condition of inflation has become paramount for largely the right reasons (accidents do happen). In the context of the macro economy of 2017, inflation isn’t really about consumer prices except as a broad gauge of hidden…