US inflation: Will the recent uptrend persist?

From Elliot Clarke at Westpac:

…it seems as though these price movements have not been driven by demand. This is particularly true for food services, which has seen growth in consumption volumes fall from 5.3% in November to –0.6% in May. Housing and utility demand has remained highly volatile, but there was no evidence of a ‘break out’ move in this component of personal consumption in early 2014, and growth has since slumped back to 0.2%. This is not to say that rents have not contributed materially to the level of housing inflation in recent years; more below.

This then points to an exogenous shock being to blame for the recent jump. Further, the coincident nature of the inflation uptrends for food and housing services alludes to a common cause: the cost of energy. The 6.1% gain in total PCE energy prices from April 2013 to May 2014 corroborates this belief. To the extent that shifts in energy costs typically prove temporary, this inflationary impulse will likely dissipate in coming months – leaving aside current geopolitical concerns.

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Economic Data Shows Signs of a Slowdown –

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Manufacturing slowed in February and consumer spending was flat for a third straight month in January, new economic data showed on Thursday, suggesting the economy lost more momentum than expected early this year.

……the spending and factory data cut into the optimism generated by a recent decline in the unemployment rate, and suggested rising energy prices were taking a toll.

via Economic Data Shows Signs of a Slowdown –