As We Were Saying...
Real-time Core CPI nails it!
Our real-time Core CPI did well in June, anticipating the acceleration in the official print. As we posted yesterday, Dotdat’s real-time Core CPI rose 0.6 percent in June, accelerating from May’s print of 0.3 percent, and compared to the 0.7 percent June print for the Core CPI-U.
The marked deceleration in our real-time Core CPI since then suggests that June’s upward pricing pressure may be transitory.
Upward momentum in some general merchandise CPIs contributed to this run-up in the Core CPI—illustrated here by our real-time Apparel CPI—that also nailed the official print!
Dotdat’s real-time Apparel CPI rose 0.8 percent over June compared to the 0.8 percent rise in the Apparel CPI-U and continues to accelerate into July. While our other general merchandise CPIs do not look as frothy as Apparel, they have generally recovered from their pronounced Q1/Q2 weakness.
Why fret over stale data?
Today’s release looked like bad news, but as we fretted over the disconcerting strength in general merchandise inflation a few weeks ago, and while the market digests the official print, our real-time data have already moved on and now show some softening in those same CPIs that will likely show up in July’s release.
As we noted yesterday, the 1.1 percent print for Dotdat’s real-time June CPI suggested an even higher number for June’s official release, which we got today with the 1.3 percent print.
We anticipated a higher official print as, while our real-time CPI captures the dynamics and turning points of the headline index fairly well, its monthly run rate has averaged several tenths below the official releases over 2022, and there was no reason to think that June would be different.
We attribute the 0.2 percentage-point difference vs. June’s CPI-U to our lower real-time Transportation inflation, as our New and Used Vehicle CPIs accelerated in June but by less than in the official data.
Help is on the way! Gasoline CPIs
Dotdat’s real-time Transportation CPI increased 2.2 percent in June, after rising 1.5 percent in May (compared to the 3.8 percent June print for the Transportation CPI-U). Our Transport index has since come down to a monthly run rate of 0.8 percent as of July 10th following recent declines in Gasoline prices.
Dotdat’s real-time Gasoline CPI was up almost 10 percent over June (compared to June’s Gasoline CPI-U of 11.2 percent), but its monthly run rate has fallen to 4.3 percent as of July 12th, another benevolent signal for July’s headline CPI.
Finally, a reader favorite, Dotdat’s revised real-time Airfares CPI increased 3.1 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis in June after rising 14.2 percent in May (and compared to the 1.8 percent fall in June’s Airfares CPI-U). While our real-time inflation has come off the blistering pace of the past few months, we haven’t seen outright declines in prices as in the BLS sample and as some industry sources have reported, e.g. Hopper’s Price Tracker shows domestic airfares down 6 percent (m/m percent change) in June and another 5 percent month-to-date as of July 13th.
Our revised CPIs have done well anticipating the official data—so far! We’ll have more posts on our revised Food and Beverage, Shelter, and Medical Care CPIs—next one out Sunday.
Ready for more?