BLS retracted email highlights skews in CPI data


I missed this earlier but Bloomberg is out with an intriguing report highlighting US inflation dynamics around seasonal adjustments in the CPI report.

It cites an email from the BLS that was sent to some users and the retracted. It said:

The weights for single family detached homes increased materially
from December 2023 to January 2024. All of you searching for the source
of the divergence have found it

Markets have already figured out that something screwy has been going on with rents in the report. Economist Ian Shepherdson (who is a great economist) is cited in the report saying the OER skew should continue for the next five months then revert to the rate of increase of primary rent.

If so, that could keep CPI elevated. At the same time, would the Fed be increasingly likely to look past it? Fed officials have already highlighted skews in the CPI report as a reason for not getting too excited.

At the same time, today's PCE report did point to potentially problematic inflation in services.



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