The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

  • Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7 percent before seasonal adjustment. Increases in the indexes for shelter and medical care were the major factors in the seasonally adjusted all items monthly increase, outweighing a decline in the energy index.
  • The energy index fell 1.9 percent in August as the gasoline index declined 3.5 percent. The food index was unchanged for the third month in a row.
  • The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in August, the same increase as in June and July. Along with the indexes for medical care and shelter, the indexes for recreation, used cars and trucks, and airline fares were among the indexes that increased in August. The indexes for new vehicles and household furnishings and operations declined over the month.
  • The all items index increased 1.7 percent for the 12 months ending August; the 12-month increase has remained in the range of 1.5 to 2.0 percent since the period ending December 2018. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the last 12 months, its largest 12-month increase since July 2018. The food index rose 1.7 percent over the last year while the energy index declined 4.4 percent.

CPI Month-Over-Month and Year-Over-Year

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Falling Energy Costs Keep CPI Tame

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Classic Late-Stage Inflation?

I disagree with Rosie's assessment. If there was an energy surge I would be more inclined to accept his view. That's not at all what's happening.

Continued Surge in Medical Care Services

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Hmm.

Somehow that looks like early-stage inflation, mid-stage inflation, and late-stage inflation.

Continuous Understated Medical Inflation

Medical care has continuous and understated inflation.

Understated?

You bet. Dramatically understated in fact.

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Ask any of those buying their own medical insurance how much their costs have risen. It's likely to be in the 50% to 200% range, not 4.3%.

The BLS averages that all in. The BLS also averages in the price of Medicare. But how much is the government paying doctors and hospitals?

How much costs are companies eating when they offer coverage?

Those are the real costs. The BLS just looks at the costs to the average individual, ignoring all the rest of the true costs.

Reported medical cares costs have soared even despite these huge distortions (lies if you prefer).

Role of Government

Eventually, the price of everything government touches soars out of control.

Consumers Not Struggling

Sure, if you ignore a whole bunch of things including bankruptcies, suicides, and rising credit card debt, consumers are OK.

Head-Scratching Logic

Finally, here's one on the American Dream:68% of Millennial Homeowners Regret Buying a Home

Consumer stress?

You bet.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Medical Care Costs Soaring Out of Control

The cost of medical care services dramatically outpaces stated CPI inflation measures.

CPI vs Reality: Medical Care Costs Soar Out of Control

The BLS reports once again that inflation is tame. Reality depends on your needs.

CPI Benign but Medical Services and Rent Squeeze Continues

Consumer prices were flat in September and core CPI rose less than expected. Housing and medical services are problems.

CPI-U +0.2%, Core +0.1%: Medical Care and Shelter Components Highly Questionable

The CPI came in under expectations across the board. I question shelter and medical components.

BLS Reports Tame Inflation as Medical Costs Soar Out of Sight

The BLS says the CPI rose 0.1% in January. Year-Over-Year the CPI is up 2.5%. Your experience is sure to vary.

CPI Up 0.1 Percent: How Much is the CPI Understated?

The BLS says the CPI is up 0.1% for the month and 2.1% from a year ago. What's the real story?

Diving Into the Medical CPI: Are Your Medical Expenses Up Only 5% from Year Ago?

On November 1, I posted a couple of charts from Variant Perception that shows medical price inflation plus rent inflation is up nearly 9% from a year ago.

Good News For Inflationists: Medical Costs and Rent Surge; Mini-Stagflation Coming Up?

Hip, hip, hooray! The CPI is up more than expected, led by a huge 1.1% month-over-month surge in medical care supplies.

CPI Shows Sharply Rising Medical Costs; Huge Obamacare Hikes Planned

The CPI came in exactly in line with the Bloomberg Consensus option today.