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Inflation Monitor for May 16

 

Disponible en anglais seulement.

Summary

  • Inflation in the U.S. continues to spark from every angle (surging energy costs, high food prices, an extremely tight labour market pushing up wages, supply snarls from the war in Ukraine and lockdowns in China). That should keep the Fed on its aggressive tightening path.

Key Developments

  • Although U.S. consumer prices slowed to 8.3% y/y in April amid lower used car prices and a short-lived pullback in gasoline, the headline figure was still hotter than expected on elevated natural gas, electricity and food prices. Meantime, the core measure flared again, up 0.6% m/m, suggesting underlying price pressures aren’t letting up anytime soon. We lifted our core forecast slightly to 5.9% this year (prev. 5.7%) and 4.1% next year (prev. 4.0%).

  • U.S. producer prices climbed 11.0% y/y in April, marking the fifth straight month of double-digit growth, while import prices surged 12.0% y/y.

  • University of Michigan’s gauge of consumers’ 1-year ahead inflation expectations stayed elevated at 5.4% in May, the highest since the early-80s.

  • The NFIB’s survey showed 70% of small businesses were raising prices in April. That was just below March’s record high of 72%.

  • China’s consumer prices picked up slightly to +2.1% y/y in April, marking the fastest pace since last November. Meantime, producer prices eased for a fourth straight month, though still came in above expected at 8.0% y/y.

  • Inflation continues to sizzle in all corners of the world: Mexico’s central bank raised rates by 50 bps to 7.0% and signalled bigger rate hikes could be in store. Consumer prices in the country jumped 7.7% y/y in April, more than double the Bank’s 3% target. Meantime, April’s inflation in the Czech Republic rose 14.2% y/y; Russia’s climbed 17.8% and Ghana’s was up a whopping 23.6%, just to note a few jaw-dropping spikes seen in the past week.

  • Commodities continue to push higher. Wheat jumped to a near-record high following India’s move to curb exports. Meantime, a gasoline supply crunch is brewing in the U.S. with futures rising above $4/gallon.

 

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