Cleveland Fed Median CPI Inflation Rate: Only 1%

by: Mark J. Perry

According to the Cleveland Fed's report today, its median CPI measure of prices increased by 1.0% at an annual rate in February over the same month last year (see chart above). In contrast, the regular CPI increased by 2.1% over the last year (February 2010 to February 2011), according to the BLS report this morning.

Historically, the median CPI has been 50% more accurate at gauging future inflation than the traditional CPI (based on the Cleveland Fed's research), and the median CPI from the Cleveland Fed is not yet showing any strong signs of inflationary pressures. The most recent 12-month inflation rate of 1.0% based on the median CPI is still way below the 3.05% average inflation rate for that series going back to 1984.