Not for the first time, I was struck by the financial media’s take on today’s CPI release. Here was how the Wall Street Journal framed it right before the data came out.
It’s not that inflation might pick up again, it’s that the “downturn” in inflation might “stabilize”. It’s not that inflation remains way above the Fed’s target, it’s that “the rate of price gains” may continue to fall.
In truth, headline CPI bottomed in June and hasn’t budged a bit (except to eke higher) over the past six months. I don’t know why this is so hard to understand.
But hey, hey, hey! Why are we talking about headline CPI anyway? We all know that core CPI is FAR more important and is what we should all be paying attention to! Hence this graphic in the WSJ recap article of the CPI report this morning, with the core rate in bright red and the headline or overall rate in a faint dotted line beneath: