Inflating The Debt Away. Higher Prices Are Here To Stay.
More bogus CPI numbers reported yesterday (HERE). The CPI itself is a poor price inflation measure given it excludes so many asset classes such as equities, art and crypto. Let’s focus on one CPI line item – “food at home” which was up 0.7% over the past 12 months ended May. Sorry, that’s a bogus number. My family’s grocery bill is up 20-30%. That percentage increase is in absolute terms and does not contemplate the old retail trick of shrinking packaging while maintaining prices which is happening. We’ve sampled a couple of local restaurants over the past two weeks and noted that prices were flat yet portion sizes were reduced by 20-25%. These prices increases are not transitory. Food suppliers are not going to triple inventories simply to get prices down. Same for lumber and metals. It’s not happening. What is clear is that the Federal Government and the Federal Reserve are working in concert to inflate prices, thereby inflating GDP, thereby inflating tax receipts, thereby shrinking outlays to interest expense on the mountain of debt outstanding. Buckle up because price inflation will get worse, not better.