Inflation rose far less than expected in April, mitigating fears that the Feds would have to grapple with both trying to loosen credit and fight off rising prices. [AP]

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  1. azntg says:

    Inflation didn’t go up as much as expected, but who cares if some of us are doing all the right things but still have trouble living day-to-day by the huge jumps in prices? I know, nobody does because the inflation didn’t go up as much as expected.

  2. Bladefist says:

    @azntg: nobody said everything is okay. Just a little good news to brighten your day. Wish this was a little bigger on consumerist’s front page.

  3. Trai_Dep says:

    Phew. Thank the GODS that food and fuel prices – which are excluded from inflation calculations – haven’t risen in years. Otherwise, we’d be in big trouble.
    Since the Republicans have done such a swell job of managing the economy, let’s all toast our Dom to the new Permanent Conservative Majority!!

  4. Fuzz says:

    There is a mistake in your headline, it should read “CPI fails to represent true rate of inflation. Again.”

  5. Empire says:

    It strikes me as very odd that a site with so much experience distrusting the official version of things from corporate mouthpieces unfailingly reports the government’s doctored economic figures as the gospel truth.

  6. PunditGuy says:

    @Bladefist: It’s getting to the point where I can’t tell when you’re being funny or just wrong.

  7. Bladefist says:

    wrong? I didn’t submit a statement that could be wrong or right.

  8. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @Bladefist: Doesn’t matter, you’re not some pussy trendy liberal, so you must always be wrong. Nevermind, that markets have been rebounding since March, before Bush’s stimulous will have any impact. It’s all doom and gloom, all the time.

  9. stinerman says:

    @HIV 2 Elway:
    Someone has a persecution complex.

  10. BigElectricCat says:

    @azntg: “Inflation didn’t go up as much as expected”

    Oh, that all depends. A good way to strip out all the tweaking and adjusting (especially the “seasonally adjusted” BS) is to simply look at year-over-year changes. That’ll give you a *much* better idea of what the annual rate looks like. Let’s have a look at energy costs, shall we?

    From Big Picture (link below):

    As reported by the BLS for April 08 vs April 07:

    Fuels and Utilities………….8.6%
    Household Eneregy……………9.4%
    Fuel oil and other fuels…….42.8%
    Gas (piped) and electricity…..6.6%

    [bigpicture.typepad.com]

  11. Bladefist says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: Yes I know. I figured I would be attacked when making political statements. But getting attacked at that statement, wow.

    I know it’s always doom and gloom. The housing market is a perfect example. When home values are going up, then young married people cant afford to have the American dream. waaaa.

    When home values go down, senior citizens cant sell their house and afford the American retirement. waaa.

    @HIV 2 Elway: The very best thing about being conservative: I get to be happy and I don’t have a lifetime of bad news to complain about.

  12. dariasofi says:

    @BigElectricCat Yep. And the bike industry is booming in light of growing gas prices. What else is new?

  13. Bladefist says:

    @BigElectricCat: Assuming TypePad is as legitimate as it gets, I don’t agree with comparing YoY, unless you’re looking for something to complain about.

    We can compare with 1920, and keep our doom and gloom outlook. Also I think using energy as an inflation example is shameful. I don’t think energy inflation is anywhere near the norm of normal yearly inflation. But lets complain about energy and then make it cost more for global warming.

    Back to the article: There was an expected rise in inflation for April that just didn’t happen. It didn’t play out. That’s all there is to this. No one is saying anything else.

  14. PunditGuy says:

    @Bladefist: I’m sorry you’re being serious instead of funny. RTFA.

    “The unchanged reading for energy reflected a big 4.8 percent jump in natural gas prices, offset by a 2 percent decline in gasoline costs.

    The reported drop in gasoline prices reflected the government’s accounting process, which discounts expected seasonal price changes.”

    How did that expected seasonal price change work out for you? My gas prices have risen from 3.39 to 3.75 in the last month.

    I can’t believe you want a “bigger” play on Consumerist for what is essentially an accounting trick in order to make the inflation numbers look better.

  15. Bladefist says:

    @PunditGuy: Apology accepted.

  16. Bladefist says:

    @PunditGuy: Price increases and inflation increases are two different things.

  17. stinerman says:

    @Bladefist:

    Last I checked this wasn’t a political blog. I try to check my politics at the door when I post here. There are a plethora of websites where I can express those opinions. I’ll pimp Swords Crossed since I’m a pseudo-admin there.

    Personally, I don’t trust government figures without some sort of outside verification. And inasmuch as the figures are correct, I don’t live my life based on numbers at the end of a worksheet. All I know is that gas is flirting with $4/gal and stuff at the grocery store costs more than it used to.

  18. BigElectricCat says:

    @Bladefist: “I don’t agree with comparing YoY, unless you’re looking for something to complain about.”

    If you don’t agree, that’s certainly your right. However, I assure you, I’m not “looking for something to complain about.”

    @Bladefist: “We can compare with 1920, and keep our doom and gloom outlook.”

    That’s quite simply ridiculous. YoY numbers from a year ago will tell you a lot more than YoY numbers from over 80 years ago. If you want to discount those numbers, go ahead, but given your penchant for playing King Of The Mountain when you’re the first to cite data, it’s pretty apparent that you just don’t want to talk about those numbers at all.

    @Bladefist: “Also I think using energy as an inflation example is shameful.”

    Well, I think that leaving it out entirely is just as shameful. Now what?

    @Bladefist: “I don’t think energy inflation is anywhere near the norm of normal yearly inflation.”

    And of course, no one claimed that it was. Next?

  19. Bladefist says:

    @stinerman: your link points to domain parking. you mean .org?

  20. Bladefist says:

    @stinerman: Also you should check more often. Remember the article about republicans killing the passengers bill of rights? Sounds political.

  21. stinerman says:

    @Bladefist:

    Yes, .org

    I have it bookmarked, obviously, and forgot the name.

    And WRT the Passengers’ Bill of Rights, yes, you are right. The editors should also try to foster a non-partisan attitude here. I don’t pretend to be a Republican or conservative, but such bad-faith language makes me wince a bit. One can make the case on several grounds that increased regulation is ultimately bad for the consumer.

  22. Trai_Dep says:

    Hey, if GOP pols rush headlong into anti-consumerist, America-hating behaviors, it’s fair to call them on it. To do otherwise would be disingenuous. Or Republican.

  23. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: nothing but the best from you, once again.

  24. biskits says:

    Boy, that IS good news. The economy still blows, but to a slightly lesser degree than expected! Sure, the report doesn’t count inflation on basic necessities like food and utilities, but let’s not dwell in negativity and quibble over such things, shall we? USA! USA!

  25. Trai_Dep says:

    @bladefist: Dude. Seriously. Stop the ad hominem attacks. It’s not befitting of you and detracts from the discussion.
    Back on topic, to suggest that carefully screened figures from a White House notorious for defunding agencies that don’t present Pollyanneish reports, any reasonable, thinking person would look askance at these figures. Especially with fuel and food inflation (rampant by historical terms) cheerfully excised from their estimates.
    It’s not being a Sad Sally, it’s being an intelligent consumer of information. Isn’t that something we should all strive for?

  26. mikelotus says:

    From the NY Times, “Seeing Inflation Only in the Prices That Go Up” which explains why the inflation numbers are lower than people expect including the high inflation in food and fuel. And in hindsight, its kind of obvious.
    [www.nytimes.com]

    and don’t brighten your day too much:
    [www.nytimes.com]

  27. BearTack says:

    Since the Reagan administration, the consumer price index has been repeatedly changed to decrease the apparent inflation rate. Reagan’s administration changed housing prices to include “equivalent rents” rather than the true cost of owning a house. Other changes were made in the Bush41 and Clinton eras. shadowstats.com points out that the current inflation rate measured via the preClinton CPI is about 7.3%. The preReagan CPI would clearly be even higher.

    shadowstats.com is a subscription service, but always has some useful freebies on its front page. Currently its CPI/preClinton CPI graph.

  28. BigElectricCat says:

    @Trai_Dep: “It’s not being a Sad Sally, it’s being an intelligent consumer of information.”

    Excellent point. I don’t think anyone here is trying to claim that energy costs, on their own, paint an accurate picture of inflation. But I do think that quite a few posters here — myself included — don’t think that leaving energy and food costs out of the economic picture is accurate, either.

    Food and energy are two very significant parts of consumer costs, and IMO, cutting them out and proclaiming ‘see, it’s not all that bad’ is either misleading, dishonest or self-deluding. Add those costs in and then let the chips fall where they may.

  29. Trai_Dep says:

    @BigElectricCat: Yup. The rationale is that food and fuel are too volatile to include. “Distorting!”, they proclaim. Said by people – most who have advanced degrees in statistics – who are unfamiliar with the concept of averaging.
    Alternately, they could issue two numbers, basing COLA increases on some sort of weighted average. But they’d rather misinform. And short-change the elderly.
    Which is fine, it’s their job. But there’s no excuse for people not to be informed about this. Even if it turns their lil’ smiles upside down. Truth does that, sometimes. Price of freedom, that.

  30. BearTack says:

    Food and particularly energy ripple through the economy quickly. I pay more not just for energy, but energy intensive products along with raw materials. Copper is up 3x in price. Soil, lumber, firewood, compost, metals, plastics, fertilizer and other raw materials are skyrocketing because they are either petroleum dependent, or have a large energy cost in their collection or prep.

    Yes, there is a lag with some of the consumer items produced, unless you need some of your copper plumbing replaced. I do most of my own repairs, so I see these prices rising rapidly.

    Some of the inflation is less apparent. There are fewer sales on many items, so that while the “regular” price may not have changed, the average price paid is significantly higher.

  31. Bryan Price says:

    Another case of the government moving their lips and lying.

    Yeah, I know it’s ex-food and ex-fuel. Because, you know, everybody doesn’t have to eat or go anywhere. Or have electricit.NO CARRIER