Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The Labor Department reported year-over-year "non-core inflation" reached almost a three-year high in June, rising from 10.1 percent in May to 13.3. percent.
This level, for what is more commonly known as the "food and energy only" index, was surpassed only two times in recent years, in September and October of 2005 after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast.
Other measures of inflation were much lower, the traditional measure of consumer prices rising 5.0 percent from year-ago levels, now at a 17-year high, and economists' preferred measure of inflation that strips out the "non-core" components (also known as "core inflation") rose just 2.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.
Monthly gains were paced by energy (up 6.6 percent) and food (up 0.7 percent) with the "food at home category" now up 6.1 percent from last year at this time.
One other alternative measure of inflation, "non-OER" inflation - where the now discredited and completely useless owners' equivalent rent component is removed from the index - rose to a new high for the decade at an annual rate of 5.6 percent.
Owners' equivalent rent is widely believed to have been the cause of the unwarranted, freakishly low interest rates earlier in the decade that are cited as one of the root causes of the current problems in today's economy and financial markets.