January CPI Data: What Does It Mean for Inflation Fears?

The January Consumer Price Index (CPI) data is in and it’s not looking good for those hoping inflation will stop soon.

image representing inflation including January CPI Data.

Source: g0d4ather / Shutterstock.com

CPI data for January includes a 7.5% gain in prices year-over-year. That’s a major blow as experts were only expecting a 7.3% rise for the period. It’s also worth pointing out that it surpasses the 7% rise from December.

So what’s to blame for the unexpectedly high CPI data in January? Energy prices continue to be a sore spot for consumers with the price of gas and electricity both continuing to rise in recent months. But the real question is when will inflation slow down?

Unfortunately, Capital Economics senior U.S. economist Andrew Hunter has bad news for consumers. The following is what he told Yahoo Finance!

“The acceleration in rent of shelter inflation shows no sign of abating, with owners’ equivalent rent up by 0.4% m/m again and rent of primary residence seeing an even bigger 0.5% gain. Alongside the 0.7% jump in food away from home prices, this underlines our view that a rapid cyclical acceleration in inflation is underway and, with labor market conditions exceptionally tight, it is unlikely to abate any time soon.”

If we take energy and food costs out of the CPI, then the January data has prices increasing 6%. While that doesn’t sound as bad, this core CPI is still above the 5.9% that Wall Street was expecting for the month. It’s also the largest increase since 1982.

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On the date of publication, William White did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.


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