by Brad Zigler
Real-time Monetary Inflation (last 12 months): -0.2%
The headline number in yesterday's inflation update from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics seemed benign. Almost disappointing, in fact. At least for reflationistas. Wholesale prices for finished goods increased 0.4 percent, the same rate seen in August.
The 12-month rate (click on chart to enlarge) was more interesting. September's Producer Price Index for Finished Goods (PPI-FG) was 4.0 percent higher than a year ago, a noticeable uptick from the 3.1 percent level in August.
The move coincided with a not-so-apparent increase in the 12-month HAI Monetary Inflation rate. At -0.3 percent, monetary inflation—figured as the dollar's global gold purchasing power—is picked up from August's -2.4 percent month-end rate.
Four Inflation Metrics (12-Month Rates)
It looks increasingly like a cycle low in the inflation/disinflation rate was reached in June. Today, when the Consumer Price Index figures are released, we'll see if there's been follow-through at the retail level.