CPI excluding food and energy (core-CPI) increased by 31 bps in January for the largest one month increase since March 2006. Headline CPI increased to 2.54% year-over-year which is the fastest growth rate since March 2012. Even with some higher headline numbers, inflation in the US still seems contained. Core-CPI is still running below a 2% trend growth line for the past decade and our CPI diffusion index remains at a very low level which indicates that rising prices isn’t yet broad based. One area that we are keeping a close eye on is the shelter component of the CPI. The year-over-year change in owner’s equivalent rent and rent of primary residence are basically at the highest levels since 2007. The shelter component of the CPI has accelerated and is now growing at above a 2% growth rate for the past decade. All in all, however, structural inflation is still historically low as the 10-year moving average of the year-over-year change in the CPI stands at just 1.78%.
Artiicle by Eric Bush, CFA – Gavekal Capital Blog