Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gas prices probably caused Americans to lose ground in May

. - by New Deal democrat

We now have final gas price information for May. While prices increased dramatically from the beginning of the month, the average price for May was only about 1% higher than the average price for April:

In order to get the range of likely outcomes for inflation as a whole for the month, we can divide by 10 (blue) or 16 (green) and then add 0.1%. Here's a graph showing that outcome for the last 12 months (CPI in red):

The above CPI reading is not seasonally adjusted, but in May the adjustment is minimal, so seasonally adjusted consumer price changes are probably the same. In other words, CPI is likely to rise +0,2% +/-0.1% for May.

We know that average wages rose less than 0.1% in May, and retail sales are predicted to rise only 0.1% as well. In short, gas prices caused average Americans to fall behind last month.