Inflation is About 2.8% and Still Falling

For the second year in a row, we’ve been through an entirely unnecessary spring quarter’s worth of hand-wringing about whether progress toward lower inflation has faltered.

This is a repeat of the mistake that I was boring on about last year. What’s the mistake? Why do “serious” people keep making it?

~8 minutes

News from TPFKAT (The Platform Formerly Known as Twitter)

TPFKAT (which I subvocalize as 't-p-f-cat') seems to be morphing into Ashley Maddison X Weekend at Bernie's, with a Hotel California subtext.

~3 minutes

It Would be Crazy to Raise Rates

The rate of inflation has been falling and the pace of the decline has been increasing. If the Fed wants to level off at its target rate, it needs to start reducing rates and slowing down the rate of descent.

~6 minutes

Seasonality Matters for Inflation

The inflation rate came down in 11 of the last 12 months, but the data show this only after you remove seasonal variation in the inflation rate. Unfortunately, the seasonally adjusted versions of the CPI that the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases remove only part of the seasonal fluctuations. Confusion about the seasonality that remains could explain why so many people have been slow to recognize that inflation has been falling steadily for more than a year.

~7 minutes

Flying by the Seat Powell's Pants?

Today, Jay Powell will show us what type of pilot he is. By repeatedly raising interest rates, he has cut power many times. There is no doubt that we are descending; the rate of inflation is unambiguously coming down. But we are still too high. Will he follow a stable plan and make adjustments to the timing? Or fly by the seat of his pants and yank back the throttle one more time? The indications are not good. We'll know within minutes.

~2 minutes