February 13, 2019 Muted Inflation Remains Muted by Lester Murray

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index ex-food & energy, rose by the widely expected 0.2% in January while the year-over-year rate remained unchanged at 2.2%. The all-inclusive "headline" CPI was unchanged for the month as the year-over-year rate plunged, much as expected, to 1.6% from 1.9%. The BLS also reported that inflation-adjusted Real Average Hourly Earnings rose by 1.7%; well above December's gain of 1.3%. Nothing market-moving here and tomorrow's Producer Price Index release will likely indicate that price levels are not doing much more than treading water.

In the meantime, equities have opened up in the green with Treasury prices slipping slightly. While it looks like another government shutdown will be avoided, nothing's been officially signed regarding the proposed border security funding bill.  Ten-Year Treasuries are off not quite a quarter-point and that's pushed the yield to slightly above 2.70%.  WTI is up about 75 cents to just under $54. Reminder: Valentine's Day is tomorrow.