US: No sign of much upward momentum in CPI

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Commenting on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures from the United States, “the total CPI was boosted by gasoline prices, which were falling a year earlier,” noted TD Securities analysts. “In turn, the 12-month change in the total index rose to 2.3% from 2.1%, although that was below the 2.4% expected. The 12-month change in the total was 1.9% a year earlier (in December 2018).”

Key quotes

“At 2.3%, the 12-month change in the core index is up from 2.2% a year earlier, but that is essentially flat. The pace is down from 2.4% three months ago.”

“All in all, weaker than expected. While the trend in core is almost certainly not as weak as 0.1% per month, there is certainly no sign of much upward momentum. Meanwhile, core PCE inflation continues to run below core CPI inflation. As of November, the core PCE index was up 1.6% y/y—versus 2.3% for the core CPI.”

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