Instantaneous Inflation Rates for April

All measures decelerate.

Figure 1: Instantaneous inflation (T=12, a=4) per Eeckhout (2023) for CPI (bold black, chained CPI (sky blue), PCE deflator (tan), PCE deflator with market based prices (red). Chained CPI seasonally adjusted by author using X-13. Source: BLS, BEA via FRED, and author’s calculations.


25 thoughts on “Instantaneous Inflation Rates for April

  1. Macroduck

    Back to Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts –

    Rickie served us a helping of MAGA pudding when Trump’s conviction was announced, claiming that criminal conviction would help the Orange Menace win the presidency. The facts suggest otherwise:

    Ten percent of Republicans surveyed say they are less likely to vote for Trump now that he has been convicted. The distribution of those votes matters, and we don’t know anything about that, but 10% of Republicans is plenty to prevent Trump’s re-election.

    A YouGov survey offered similar bad news for Trump, regarding Republican defections and the 50% of the public which approves of Trump’s conviction.

    Rickie has always been unreliable, but now he’s just transparently mouthing GOP squawking points.

    1. Moses Herzog

      “Biden and Trump remain locked in a tight race, with 41% of voters saying they would vote for Biden if the election were held today and 39% saying they would pick Trump, according to the poll, which surveyed 2,556 U.S. adults nationwide.”

      Notice the poll never specifies the ratio of urban respondents vs rural respondents, and these polls consistently year-after-year-after-year fail to capture rural voters’ thoughts. Which is where the orange abomination dominates.

      Democrats need to stop living in a fantasy world. Such as feminists who show up to public protests screaming and making noise like “Karen” at the department store who wants to talk to the manager, then openly admitting to journalists they never vote. They think it’s productive to scream and wave their arms around (or they get attention from TV crews at the protests, <<—their REAL objective??) but cannot see the value/efficacy of voting in elections. This is how Democrats effect change?? Seems like they are happy to give away the right to control their own bodies, as long as they have something to scream about. Voting in public elections?? Holds little value for getting attention for feminists, etc.

    2. Ivan

      Agree, 10% of Republicans is a big deal. The idea that this would net Trump more votes was a MAGA fever dream to begin with. A lot can happen in the next 5 months and we will see the magnitude of this reduced by then. But it is a good starting point.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Did they say what percentage of the victims were MAGA voters??

      This reminds me of the time I worked at an Alzheimer’s Care Facility posing as a massage therapist and sold two hundred $50 tickets for a chili dinner fundraiser that would be held at an abandoned shopping mall [ Why didn’t I charge more?? Still….. sigh….. good times ]

  2. Macroduck

    In the state of Washington, it’s illegal for a convicted felon to run for public office:

    In recent polling, Washington leans toward Biden, so it may not matter if Trump is removed from Washington’s ballot.

    Texas seems to bar felons from holding office, but “holding office” seems to imply state and local office.:,eligibility%20to%20run%20for%20office.

    Most states rely on the U.S. Constitution to determine who is eligible to hold federal office.

    Questions may arises in Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina and perhaps others. These three states are important to Trump’s electoral vote tally.

    Could be we’ll see a legal test in some states. Anyone know of other states with laws similar to Washington’s?

  3. pgl

    Recession not likely. Inflation coming down. Trump a convicted felon. Bruce Hall is having a terrible week!

  4. Moses Herzog

    There’s a business where I live, it’s actually a chain. They have had this deal forever and clear to this day. Five hamburgers (good quality) for $6.45 total. So, sans retail tax, let’s do the math. $6.45 divided by 5 equals $1.29. Now if a chain MUCH smaller than McDonalds can offer burgers for $1.29 a piece, how is it McDonalds can’t use our economics textbook “economies of scale” to offer a burger cheaper than $1.29?!?!?! The easy answer to that question is McDonalds CAN offer burgers for less than $1.29 and McDoanlds refuses to do that. PERIOD. End of logic understandable to most 4 year olds (but apparently hard for some PhD “orthodox” economists).

  5. Macroduck

    We’ve had our share of cranks and crazies here in comments – some still show up. They are mere worker bees in the world of right-wing influence efforts. Anyone here ever heard of the WhatsApp chat group “Off the Leash”?:

    Erik Prince is the host. You’ll really his sister was in Trump’s cabinet, and he provided mercenaries for Bush’s war. Some participants have urged him to lead an insurrection in the U.S.

    We aren’t talking about CoRev or Rickie here; they don’t qualify for an invitation. These are people with miney, influence, high office and men under arms. When communicating privately, they don’t come off as smart, level-headed or sophisticated. They’re eager for power, eager to remake the world to their own liking, and democracy isn’t part of the plan. Vast right-wing conspiracy? Here’s the proof.

    1. pgl

      Trump will fast track the mergers of oil companies. Stevie boy Koptis takes this one step further – Stevie sees no problem with blatant collusion, MAGA.

    2. Ivan

      The best we can hope for is that this will be similar to Trumps Big Coal scam. Lots of words and collection of campaign contributions (and votes from gullible fools working in the industry). But in the end there is not a lot he can do against market forces.

      When forced to chose between paying more for hydrocarbon energy or less for solar energy – even the most right wing oil supporters will not put their money where their mouth is.

      At some point in the not so distant future it will be cheeper to go off grid with your own complete energy system than to be hooked up to a utility company that has locked itself into expensive hydrocarbon electricity for the next 30 years. Even simple things like lawn ornament/camping solar panels straight from the store (to produce some of your electricity at lower cost) will become popular at the right price point.

  6. AS

    I noticed that there is a Cleveland Fed Median PCE inflation measure that the Cleveland Fed thinks is a better measure of inflation compared to PCE inflation. My calculation of April 2024 instantaneous Median PCE Inflation is about 3.5% down from 3.8% as of January 2024.
    Per the Cleveland Fed:
    • Description: We calculate the median PCE inflation rate based on data released in the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ monthly Personal Income and Outlays report.
    • Median PCE inflation is the one-month inflation rate of the component whose expenditure weight is in the 50th percentile of price changes.
    • Benefits: By omitting outliers (small and large price changes) and focusing on the interior of the distribution of price changes, the median PCE inflation rate can provide a better signal of the underlying inflation trend than either the all-items PCE price index or the PCE price index excluding food and energy (also known as the core PCE price index).

    1. Macroduck

      Think of all the features of medical care which are not like the micro textbook competitive peice-takers model. Why wouldn’t private equity slurp up everything in sight?

      1. Ivan

        Health care is probably the most “ripe for the picking” of all the predatory capitalism wet dream targets. Only the US has ignored that, and allowed “free” markets to take care of that essential mandatory service. The price for that mistake has been worse health care for twice the price. Oh to be French – wine, women and health care.

  7. James

    In my view the kindling for the spike in inflation were the Trump tax cuts (anyone remember the CryptoCoin boom and bust?) and then responsible Dem admin gets in charge and has to deal with Trump Covid mess and passes American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to rescue the American economy in the face of supply chain disruptions (anyone remember trying to buy TP under Trump admin?).
    Now instead of letting the tax cuts for their billionaire donors expire – the GOP wants to extend and expand tax cuts for Trump and his cronies – adding trillions to the cumulative fiscal deficits over the next decade.

  8. Macroduck

    The FOMC’s March SEP anticipates the year-end core PCE deflator reading at 2.6% y/y (vs 2.7% in April), headline 2.4% (vs 2.8%) . Year-end jobless rate at 4.0% (3.9%). Those estimates are associated with a year-end funds rate projection of 4.6%. That would require 75 basis points in rate cuts. With five more meetings this year, that’s every other meeting if cuts commenc in June.

    Current market pricing anticipates a 25 bp cut in September and roughly even odds of another 25 in December. So FOMC policy is tight now and market participants expect policy to remain tight through year end.

    1. Moses Herzog

      You DO know when “independent central banker” Jerome is going to lower rates right?? “Independent Jerome” will lower rates within two days before/after donald trump declares his next trade war, and then inside 48 hours of that Menzie will have some “orthodox” bootlicker economist make a post here telling us how “incredibly” independent Jerome is.

      Mark your calendars kids.

  9. pgl

    Jan. 6 rioter pulls faces behind Fauci as doctor tells Congress about death threats

    Dr. Anthony Fauci was called back to Congress on Monday and attacked by Republican lawmakers — but his foes weren’t merely before him in the congressional hearing. A Jan. 6 attacker who served one of the toughest prison sentences yet handed out was perched over his left shoulder, making faces. National security expert Marcy Wheeler pointed out on X that Brandon Fellows was just released from prison on May 20 after serving three years on both felony and misdemeanor charges. Dr. Fauci spoke to the House Oversight Committee about threats and harassment that he’s faced as a result of his handing of the COVID pandemic. There have also been threats on his family. As he spoke, Fellows made a pouty face behind Dr. Faucis.

    Yea Fellows is a disgusting little pervert. But seriously – how does his pouty face stunt differ from the typical rant here ala Ricky Stryker or Brucie Hall? MAGA

  10. Macroduck

    Off topic – Biden driving wedges in Israel’s cabinets:

    Y’all noticed Biden blabbing about a “deal” to end the slaughter of Palestinians?

    One of the massive problems in the Levant is that right-wing religious crazies have a powerful voice in Israel’s politics. Netanyahu brought the crazies into government when nobody else ever had, because Netanyahu would otherwise have gone to jail. (Sometimes politics rhymes, too.)

    Netanyahu was willing to “agree ” to a deal the ended the slaughter of Palestinians, as long as the public didn’t find out. Avoid implementation until after the U.S. election and his coalition could hold together. You may have noticed recent estimates that the slaughter need only last till year end.

    Biden has stirred the pot, bringing the deal into the open, so the parties need to fish or cut bait. There are now offers to replace religious crazies in the coalition – perhaps the crazies can be sent packing. Israel’s not-yet-neutered courts are demanding that ultra-orthodox Jews serve in the military – it’s their war, after all – and that is another coalition-buster for the crazies. Stripping the blood-thirstiest elements from Israel’s government appears to be an agreed-upon solution to the slaughter of innocents in Palestine.

    Meanwhile, Benny Gantz is threatening to dissolve the government on good-governance grounds: how can Netanyahu spill all that blood and treasure without planning for next steps? Maybe this is just Gantz taking advantage while he can. Or maybe he, too, thinks the sickness has gone on long enough.

    Maybe, just maybe, the slaughter can end earlier than scheduled.

    1. Anonymous

      The mass murder of Palestine would have stopped tens of thousands of murders ago if Biden said no more bombs, etc. in October.

      Every bomb is now from you and me.

      1. Moses Herzog

        I agree with you, the money would have been much better spent in Ukraine for military defense. Good point.

        But Republicans FAILED because they apparently prefer sending American soldiers over to Europe to be killed. House Speaker Mike Johnson’s children won’t be sent over to Europe to be killed.


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