Inflation! Debasement! April edition


Hyperinflation-era German currency

Source: Flikr Creative Commons

It’s time to check in on inflation!  and debasement! This is the certainty, expressed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, that no matter what the data tell us, accelerating inflation and a depreciating currency are just around the corner.  Here are the new readings for April 2016:

  • Inflation: steady as she goes.  Prices overall rose 1.1 percent since April 2015.  If we exclude food and energy prices, the Consumer Price Index rose 2.2 percent over the past twelve months.
  • Debasement: nope. On a 12-month basis, the dollar appreciated about 3.4 percent according to the real trade-weighted exchange rate.

The real earnings release also came out with good news.  The inflation-adjusted average wage rose 1.3 percent between April 2015 and April 2016, continuing the trend of slow but steady increases in real wages.  I’d prefer to see an annual rate of 2% or more, but considering that labor productivity grew at less than 1 percent over the same period I’ll take it.

We’ll just have to stay vigilant for signs of inflation! or debasement! It must be out there somewhere…