Truflation Data Insights: November 2022 | Truflation
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Truflation Data Insights: November 2022

Published 09 Nov, 2022

Inflation was front and center on everyone’s minds this month, especially during the Midterm Elections on Nov 8, 2022.  The Fed’s fourth 75 basis point rate rise in a row left the markets contemplating higher rates and turbulence ahead. However, the US economy is still very mixed. Let’s dive into the numbers and see what the data tells us.

The US Truflation CPI has dropped from 8.5% at the end of September to 7.5% at the end of October, and today is at 7.3% on Nov 9, the lowest level in 2022. The main Truflation categories contributing to our index declines were:

  • Housing, which fell from 9.0% to 7.2%, thanks to the Fed’s rate hikes and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) surpassing 7% in October for the first time since April 2002.
  • Transportation, which dropped by 3.3% over the last month. This index decreased mainly due to the prices at the pump coming down from summer highs and the used car prices declining to the pre-pandemic levels, possibly driven by the supply increasing again, consumers upgrading to electric cars, as well as lower demand related to the higher credit cost, etc.

However, these declines were partially offset by the following increases:

  • Utilities increased by 0.3% over the last month due to natural gas and electricity prices remaining high globally.
  • Health increased by 0.7% over the last month due to inflation reaching health services, medicines, and medical supplies.

Recently released macroeconomic data combined with the Truflation indexes suggest mixed signals and turbulent times ahead:

  • US Q3 GDP is up 2.6% after declining in Q2.
  • US Census Department shows that the inventory of new homes for sale increased; however, the inventory of existing homes for sale decreased, suggesting consumers are looking for more cost-effective solutions.
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported PCE Inflation remained at 6.2% in September (the same as in August). However, the core PCE increased from 4.9% to 5.1%.
  • S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI was revised higher to 50.4 in October 2022 from a preliminary of 49.9 but still pointed to the slowest growth in factory activity since June 2020.

Lynn Franco at The Conference Board recently said:

“Consumer confidence retreated in October after advancing in August and September. The Present Situation Index fell sharply, suggesting economic growth slowed to start Q4. Consumers’ expectations regarding the short-term outlook remained dismal. The Expectations Index is still lingering below a reading of 80—a level associated with recession—suggesting recession risks appear to be rising.”

US consumers are increasingly more aware of the economic risks, despite the US economy adding  261,000 jobs in October, which continued to reflect the tight labor market.

The buoyant jobs market has allowed demand to hold steady as average hourly earnings have increased 4.7% YoY in 2022 in the private nonfarm payrolls. However, real wage growth is negative because US prices have risen faster than wages. Businesses have passed higher costs onto consumers through profit margin expansion. The narrative of scarcity has also been used to justify this expansion.

All this reinforces that turbulent times are ahead.  As for the impact on inflation, Truflation is predicting the BLS US CPI to drop between 0.3-0.4% from 8.2% last month in its October release this Thursday.

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Written by CeAnn Simpson

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