No really? I needed a laugh this morning….
The indexes for food, energy, and all items less food and energy all increased in March. The gasoline index continued to rise, more than offsetting a decline in the household energy index and leading to a 0.9 percent increase in the energy index. The food index rose 0.2 percent as the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased notably.
We’ll get to that household energy thing in a minute….
But from the standpoint of the leading presentation, all I can say is “duh.”
Incidentally, the unadjusted price change in all items last month was 0.8%. That, my friends, is a shocker. Leading the charge was meats, poultry, fish and eggs (animal products) which anyone with a brain has seen in the supermarket.
Energy commodities, again unadjusted, were up 7.6% this last month. Motor fuel was the screaming leader with an 8% increase, while piped gas was down 0.9%.
Other screamers in the number were appliances (up 0.7% last month, 9% annually) with laundry leading with 1.1% and 11.5%, respectively. Apparel was up big as well, although that move looks to be all “right here and now” rather than trend, so whether it’s a one-off remains to be determined. And for those who claim that health insurance costs are leveling off and won’t play hell with the United States, well, the numbers say otherwise — 1.3% last month and 11.3% annual, which is above the 9.3% that we’ve historically recorded over the last 30 years.