Jan. 17, 2013 – NAFCU expects 2012’s moderate pace of inflation to largely continue in 2013, giving the Federal Reserve ample room to extend its asset purchases and low-interest-rate policies, NAFCU Research Assistant Doug Christman said.
The consumer price index was unchanged in December. For the year, inflation was up 1.7 percent, below the 10-year average, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Inflation expectations for 2013 are for more of the same,” said Christman.
Christman noted the main underlying price weakness in 2012 was gasoline, which hit its lowest point of the year in December. “That contributed to a 1.2 percent decline in the energy index, which followed November’s 4.1 percent decrease,” he said.
On a year-over-year basis, overall CPI growth was 1.7 percent, down from 1.8 percent in November. Year-over-year energy prices were up 0.5 percent. Core prices, which exclude food and energy costs, rose 0.1 percent for the second consecutive month. Year-over-year core CPI grew 1.9 percent.
Christman said consumer confidence dropped in November and December due to uncertainty over the fiscal cliff, and retailers are offering deep discounts to lure hesitant consumers.
For more, see NAFCU’s Macro Data Flash.