Inflation Inched Higher In January
Add another surprising data point in the column “in favor of additional interest rates hikes” for the Federal Reserve. Earlier this week, we had a positive industrial production report (and more importantly an increase in manufacturing production and capacity utilization) and now we have a decent CPI print. Not that we are going wild over a single data point, but the core-CPI did increase by 0.29% in January which is the largest monthly increase since August 2011. The year-over-year increase for core-CPI is now at 2.22%, which is the highest rate of change is May 2012. Headline CPI has increased to a 1.34% year-over-year rate which is a significant increase from the rate of change for most of 2015. Owner’s equivalent rent, which makes up a significant portion of the total CPI, increased by 3.16% on YoY% basis. This is the fastest increase since June 2007. And as the third chart below indicates, we would expect this to keep rising since the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index continues to chug along higher as well.