The Consumer Price Index rose 6.8% year over year in November, the fastest increase since the 1980s. While the uptick was in line with expectations, it will add pressure to the FOMC meeting this week and making it more likely the tapering schedule gets accelerated. Core prices, which excludes food and energy, were up 0.5% from last month and 4.9% from last year with shelter, which tends to be stickier and makes up a large portion of the index, still driving prices higher. Other large movers were energy, used cars, and apparel.
Despite persistent inflation concerns and Omicron, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index improved in December the largest increase since the early 1980s, reversing a trend where consumers were increasingly nervous. Future expectations increased the most (4.3 points), though current conditions also increased (1 point), while inflation still dominated concerns across all respondents.
While the move was significant, sentiment remains among the lowest since the pandemic began. Initial jobless claims dipped below 200K again and came in at a 52 year low of 184K.