CPI & the Soft Landing

Jim Cramer states:

"The consumer price index comes in just right for a soft
landing. Now where are all of those hard-landing folks who kept weighing in —
and on us? Where are the fearmongers today? Or do they only come out when we get
a "bad" number that agrees with their thesis?" 
Good CPI Dashes Hopes of Fearmongers

I don’t think of myself as a fearmonger, but rather as a realist and anti-cheerleader. But since Jim threw down the gauntlet, let’s address some recent data points:

Core CPI was actually +0.2423%; (Rounding brings it down to +0.2%). That’s 2.9% annualized;

Industrial production, capacity utilization, utilities generation, and manufacturing output — were all lower;

July’s Headline Retail Sales, originally reported as +1.4%, was revised down to +0.2%; Various subsectors were revised down. Ex-Autos were originally 1.0%, revised down 40% to 0.6. Just about everything but Groceries and clothing had significant, downward revisions. Groceries was revised up in July, and then
again in August. A friend asks: "Do you think we are eating more or
paying more?"

August Retail Sales — widely touted as surpringly strong — were nothing of the sort. The Census Department includes unit sales of used cars, boats, RVs, parts, etc. We already Daimler’s warning, and we saw the sales data from everyone else. That pretty much leaves used cars as your source of gains;

• In the past 16 Federal Reserve tightening cycles, there has been one true soft landing in 1994. I continue to look at that not as impossible, but as a low  probability event;

My largest present concern is Oil and other commodity prices. Its no coincidence that gas, oil, gold, aluminum and copper all have dropped at the same time. I read that as signs of a global slowing in demand.

By the way, this is consistent with what I have previously discussed about Nasdaq and Oil doubling in response to low rates and global expansion. I detailed much of this yesterday in Inconsistent on Oil: heads we win, tails you lose . . .   

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  1. steve commented on Sep 15

    Apparently the people moving the markets don’t agree with you. At present, the DOW is heading toward all time highs. In the meantime, I’m sitting in an online bank account while waiting for the sky to fall. Keep waiting for DOW 6800. Looks like the S&P and the NAZ will get there before the DOW does. So the DOW has 3 more months to lose almost half it’s value. Can’t see it anymore.


    BR Steve,

    If you can’t see it, then you should get long.

  2. Michael C. commented on Sep 15

    Here here for that dose of reality, Barry. Thanks.

    Cramer is usually a good indicator for sentiment since he reaches both extremes. His “kick my ass, shorts” comment pretty much shows how late we are in the rally and how much the market has priced in.

    But the reality also is that we are in buy-the-market-its-a-goldilocks-economy mode.

    We just need a little more soft landing chatter and hearing a few more new market high target price points, and then the sentiment will be all stoked to mark the top of this range.

    We are close if not already there. Heck, I’m starting to want to buy crude futures now that everyone things it is down for good.

  3. KP commented on Sep 15

    With all the tail chasing happening on the run up, I just hope that the same does not occur on the way down…if so current bottom estimates may be a little optimistic.

  4. Chris commented on Sep 15

    I am sure many of you follow John Mauldin. He posted a very interesting “Outside the Box” letter a few days ago highlighting a speech by Dallas Fed President, Richard Fisher, regarding their way of measuring inflation. Here is the link to the letter.



  5. steve commented on Sep 15

    No disrespect meant from my earlier post. I just think that sometimes you might feel like maybe your forecast won’t pan out as much as you thought. Nobody is right all the time. Just waiting to see if you will ever change your mind. I guess it’s just sour grapes on my part for missing most of the lastest rally. I’m too close to retirement to take too many chances so I guess I was too safe with my assets. I will still read your website and Real Money columns nonetheless. Thanks.

  6. Craig H commented on Sep 15

    For the first 8 months of this year, the CPI is running 3.935% higher than the first 8 months of 2005.

    Through July it was 3.875% higher than the comparable period in 2005.

    As far as the headline CPI is concerned, inflation continues accelerating and the CPI is on track to come in at a 3.9% increase year-over-year unless it decreases rapidly in the last third of the year.

    Consumer Price Index
    2004 – 3.3%
    2005 – 3.4%
    2006 – 3.9% (estimate)

    Data Sources:

  7. financialrx commented on Sep 15

    BR: Whoa Nellie! This post is in baaad need of a follow up. Answer his question! Who has been the most prolific fearmonger? Where is he now?

    Easiest way I can think of to answer that question is to check out Cramer’s own words during the better part of the summer right up until verrrry recently! It’ll only take about 30 seconds because there is so much material to choose from.


    “Where are the fearmongers today? Or do they only come out when we get a “bad” number that agrees with their thesis?”

    (via his video commentary) “let things come in, wait until we get oversold, then pick among the rubble…. to buy right here I think is a mistake.”

    Go back further and he was flat out saying sell into the summer rally, buy defensive names, oil’s not done, etc., etc.

  8. Andrew.w commented on Sep 15

    Lets see Ford is cutting many jobs, Daimler Chrysler says things are bad, the homebuilders say its a disaster and things are getting worst. Commodities retreat for apparently no given reason and that is a reason to take up the retailers….must mean everything is perfect and companies are about to report blow out numbers.

    Has anyone looked at the VIX index….. COMPLACENCY. This is rather pathetic to think that people believe that things are so good that the market should be at its highs,or maybe its the hedgies instead deciding that since they ran over each other in the spring….its time to take the market up on good or bad news no matter what. Fundamentals don’t matter in this market…. which is probably why foreign investors have run for the hills…..

  9. Josh commented on Sep 15

    “DOW has 3 more months to lose almost half it’s value”

    Steve, it’s been done before. Look for it in November when October’s inflation numbers are reported along with the even softer economic figures, and the auto & housing slowdown are more realized.

  10. grodge commented on Sep 15

    I understand all the contrarian arguments and the unliklihood of a soft landing based on statistics, but it’s awfully sad to miss this rally sitting in cash.

    What happened to “don’t fight the tape/trend” rule? Is this trend telling us something? Is the volume today an indication of a high volume rally that BR has discussed?


    BR: Who said anything about missing it? The Trader call on June 13 and August 9th was to buy em. The investor call in September was to raise cash and tighten stops, but not to short yet.

    You cannot expect to top tick the markets . . .

  11. Royce commented on Sep 15

    Doesn’t seem like a huge rally to me. S&P 500 is up what, 5-6% for the year? Riskless money markets have yielded about 4-5%. So it’s not like the people with large positions in cash have missed out so far.

  12. bob commented on Sep 15

    I think the re is a confusion that “hard landing” with have an iflation rate of 0.3 or even 0.4 per month.

    No, hard landing is when inflation is “-0.3%” or even “-0.4%”.

    What I see at the horizon is a dramatic decline of prices and wages, i.e. deflation.

    Real estate will fall 4-5% every year. Plumbers and construction workers will compete for your business and drop rates. The proportion of used cars will increase, thus driving car prices down. And so one.

  13. Michael C. commented on Sep 15

    >>>What happened to “don’t fight the tape/trend” rule? Is this trend telling us something? Is the volume today an indication of a high volume rally that BR has discussed?<<< A look at the charts SPX, NDX, RUT basically shows that the market is back to where it was 4 months ago. There has been no "trend" unless you are talking about a short period of 2 weeks. Most people probably just got whipped around good and shaken at the tops and bottoms in the last 4 months. As far as volume. I would say it has been light lately. More importantly, when you compare - down volume has been much greater than up volume. This week has a lot to do with options expiration. It skewed price and volume. If this is true, we should see on Mon & Tues the market give up a good portion of its "artificial" gains from options exp.

  14. BigBill commented on Sep 15

    Grodge – Bolume kind of goes out the window today. Regardless of price action we are going to have high volume today due to expiration.

  15. jkw commented on Sep 15

    People will buy more groceries in a downturn. A two-income family losing a job and becoming a one-income family should stop going out to eat and have the stay-at-home person cook more often (and from more basic ingredients). So people may be buying more groceries, but if they are it is almost certainly not a good sign for the economy.

    Today’s volume has to be adjusted for options/futures expiration. It may still be high, but comparing it to volume from earlier this month would be meaningless.

  16. Ryan commented on Sep 15

    The put/call ratio, which is the best down indicator, still shows a lot of fear in the market but that it is declining slightly.

  17. randy moore commented on Sep 15

    Total retail sales in July did not suffer a big downward revision. Indeed, sales are still reported to have increased 1.4%. Sales in August grew 0.2%.

    BR: I corrected that . . . Thanks!

  18. ari5000 commented on Sep 15


    This is the first time I’ve noticed on this bb that several posters are really disappointed in missing this rally.

    It feels awful not to be long.

    But then again — there’s a reason for the run-up and a reason it will die. Goldman Sachs huge Alpha hedge fund lost 10% in Aug. I thought they were supposed to be smart money.

    There is a lot of chasing performance out there and they will bail as soon as their technical indicators show sell.

    I think this is how the markets work now with fast money — they did the same thing in gold. Remember gold? 720 ???!!!!

    I think I will keep this in mind — the markets will run fast and furious — in gold / oil / tech. And when the fast money bails — they will run hard the other way.

    I wouldn’t expect anymore kind of gradual movement anymore…

    My prediction, based on sentiment here: This IS the top.

    Barry’s blog is NOT about investing, really. It’s about reality. The market moves according to a different sort of reality that is almost always disconnected from real reality.

  19. GerryL commented on Sep 15

    i am a subscriber to Cramer but am thinking of cancelling. i think he has lost all credibility. a case in point is on oil. he has pounded the table for a long time that you must buy oil. now he is saying the exact opposite. of course things change and so he can change his opinions. however, it is interesting that he is contradicting himself. he has been saying for a long time that oil couldnt go down a lot because OPEC didnt have any spare production. now he is saying that oil is going to go down a lot because OPEC is going to pump more. cramer puts on a good show. just dont buy his selections.

  20. Michael C. commented on Sep 15

    >>>i am a subscriber to Cramer but am thinking of cancelling.<<< Don't think, just do it. The farther you get away from that hooligan, the better off your life will be. It's my firm belief that any longtime subscribers of his are merely victoms of Stockholm Syndrome.

  21. Cherry commented on Sep 15

    You could argue 2001 was a “soft landing”.

  22. lurker commented on Sep 15

    Thanks Royce. Hey Steve, on a risk adjusted basis you are outperforming by a ton. Cash has been king this year, right? Be careful out there. As for Mr. Cramer, I caught his act a few weeks ago and he was booyahing that you “have to own oil stocks!” Right around the tip top tick in that sector. Ouch. No gurus. Do your own homework and take responsibility and credit for the results.

  23. Bob A commented on Sep 15

    A little over a year ago we saw the ‘soft landing’ for homebuilders argument from Bob Marcin. Look where it got those who listened. Down 50% and not near a bottom. I wish the very few RealMoney columnists including Barry that are still worth reading would migrate to Minyanville or some other (perhaps new) location, because Cramer is so irresponsible and irrelevant that I would very much like to disassociate with anything having to do with him.

  24. muckdog commented on Sep 15

    So, is oil declining because of the “soft economy,” or because of end of summer driving season and declining hurricane premium? Oh, and declining Middle East tensions with Iran and between Lebanon-Israel?

    Some have suggested that when oil was near $80 a barrel, it was fueled by fear and speculation. Because supplies have been good for awhile now. If fear and speculation are removed, what is the fair price for energy?

    The comment above about sentiment? I use sentiment, but it’s a lower-tier thing because sentiment can be bullish or bearish for long periods of time and be correct. The crowd is usually right for the bulk of the trend after all. They just miss the turning points.

    And cash rates are good right now…

  25. BC commented on Sep 15

    with some of the complaints on the board today , my sense is to double up on shorts here

    many indices are at overbought levels on RSI MACD
    72% stocks over 40-day m.a.
    70% SPX over 10-day m.a.
    78% NAZ over 10-day m.a.

    but , my best ” indicator” is the psychological pain of missing this up move and complaining about the 6800 call is what makes me want to short more

    it’s seen on other posts as well

  26. Cherry commented on Sep 15

    What did Uncle Cherry say in August? Patience. September/October downfall still well well on course. First comes the run up, now comes the downfall. I actually predicted a new record than the pop(what was it, 11810?). My guess? Another week of run up, then a “modest slide” the last business week in September, then sometime in October(Halloween boo!!!?), we go below 10000. A prophecy my friends, a prophecy.

    The market is being manipulated and the “soft landing” myth is still being believed. But looking at the key data that will “Instigate” the mess, is turning bearish by the day.

  27. ac commented on Sep 15

    Everybody is assuming the best. Maybe they’re right.

    But there’s one other possibility…

    Everything we’re seeing now is consistent with an alterative scenario – a shift to the wrong end of the great “inflationary / deflationary” cycle.

    Afterall, wasn’t Greenspan worried about precisely this just a few years back?

    Has the situation improved that much since 2003?

    Everything seems to be consistent with the deflation trap: easy money, high debt, and high reliance on asset inflation.

    I’m personally not convinced this is happening… but it’s at least a possiblity worth considering.

  28. ac commented on Sep 15

    Also, why does Bernanke keep harping about “an economy in transition”?

    What transition is he talking about? The transition from “happy times” to “happy times”?

    Does he know something Cramer doesn’t?

  29. Michael C. commented on Sep 15

    >>>but , my best ” indicator” is the psychological pain of missing this up move and complaining about the 6800 call is what makes me want to short more

    it’s seen on other posts as well<<< Agree with you there. However, its my experience that you have to combine this "pain" that others are feeling with knowing when these fellows actually hit the buy button. The "pain" can go on for a while. And it's only when these fellows actually take that inventory that it is the top of the run. Call it capitulation or whatever. I want to be the sell button when these guys hit the buy button but hopefully not any earlier.

  30. TC commented on Sep 15

    Needless to say, this week has belonged to the soft landing camp. Benign inflation numbers, and even an uptick in housing mortgage apps. This blog obviously takes a ‘Bigger Picture’ view, than a weekly picture one. However, one has to admit that following this week’s number, the ‘soft landing’ view has been preserved enough and the potential inflation threat curbed enough, that the Fed will maintain its policy and the count of ‘dissent’ votes will not rise beyond 1.

    Next week, PPI can still enhance concerns. If it does, the magnitude of the concern should be curbed due to the recent slide in raw material related items. Housing will again present a sorry picture. But keep this in mind – Housing is more a casualty of consumer confidence. Lets keep an eye on those consumer sentiment numbers, because any rise there should help housing begin to find a bottom.

    Also, we have to note one additional thing when we go into a soft landing/hard landing argument. The influence of a new Fed leadership and how it deviates from historical perspective. This is Big Ben’s Fed now, and he appears to have made a pre-emptive move on a slowing economy by pausing before having lower (& more acceptable) inflation numbers in his hand. Mr. Greenspan for the most part was more conservative and followed the data in hand, and consequently delaying his policy turning points. Good debate. TC@graycelladvisors.com

  31. Mike_in_Fl commented on Sep 15

    Regardless of what the numbers may or may not show on the inflation front (I tend to think they undercut the “no more inflation” viewpoint), look at what’s going on in the bonds. Eurodollar futures are down a few ticks as the “Fed to cut rates” trade loses ground and Treasury futures are back to roughly flat on the day across the curve. Technically speaking, the bonds have looked awfully toppy lately, as I discussed at my blog. Feel free to read more here:


  32. Brian commented on Sep 15

    Man, speaking of Cramer, anyone just catch him on CNBC? Bouncing off the walls, pounding the table, etc. Also, oil and metals were just a bubble.

    The Jumpin’ Jimbo Indicator just hit 90.

  33. KB commented on Sep 15

    The best move I’ve made this year is to stop listening/watching/following Cramer. I’ve seen significantly improved performance with a mix of indexes (with less stress and trading). And now that Cramer shuns oil, should one consider buying? I think of when he suddenly turned on Tech this year AFTER they got killed. What happened to $100 oil, Jimbo?

  34. Michael C. commented on Sep 15

    He’s making a big call today that analysts will upgrade stocks galore (ex energy) on Monday.

    Get ahead of it, he says. Buy now. He is rarely so certain, he says.

    I’m starting to think the top will be in when Cramer rides a mechanical bull on CNBC with saliva spewing everywhere from his maniacal bull calls. Do it, CNBC. You know you want to.

  35. NotBlue commented on Sep 15

    I guess it’s all a matter of perspective, but equity returns look pretty good to me. Dow is up over 8% YTD, S&P 500 is showing a total return of almost 7%… and several foreign equity markets doing very well, especially using dollar-denominated instruments like ETFs, which benefit from dollar decline: EWG (Germany) is up 16%, EWQ (France) is up 18%, EWZ (Brazil) is up about 15%, etc. Asia is definitely a laggard this year, perhaps not surprising considering how bullish everyone was on Japan at the start of the year. But overall, MSCI World Index is up 8% YTD, following a gain of about that much last year, 13% in 2004, and more than 30% in 2003. Bears have not found much to be happy about during what is actually a rather decent looking bull market, at least when you step back from the noise and look at compounded returns over the past four years.

  36. Wayne S. commented on Sep 15

    Good debate. Lot’s of bears here. Most of nthe blogs I read also seem bearish. The lumpen are still long-term bearish after the 2000-2002 butt-whippin’

    There is complacency – but perhaps with the SP inter-day high today 2 pts from May high, the complacency is that the market won’t run away on the upside.

    Declining consumer confidence and declining CRB have been in the past POSITIVE for stock returns. Read Boucher’s “Hedge Fund Edge”. 10 year yields below 200 day mov avg – positive. Short term rates still negative but getting less so fast. Yield curve no longer inverted.

    I’m up 7% ytd and it has been just a bitch to make money.

  37. Wayne S. commented on Sep 15

    Yes, I emeber Cramer proclaiminf=g the “Cramer Tech Rally” in about January. His face is constantly covered in egg.

    On the negative side of my mildly bullish notes above – the cycle is very lon in the tooth.

  38. KB commented on Sep 15

    I believe Cramer is now bullish on homebuilders too (cuz they’re too cheap). Methinks CNBC hasn’t learned from all their 90’s pumping.

  39. NotBlue commented on Sep 15

    7% YTD is nothing to sneeze at, Wayne! If I could do that every year, for the next 30 years, with the magic of compounding…

    As for yield curve, keep in mind that Japan and Europe still have a nice positive slope. I am never one to invite disaster with a ‘New Economy’ comment, but the reality is that lending is much more global today than in past decades. I’d keep an eye on Euro benchmarks and Japan… if they invert, along with the U.S., I think we will indeed have a problem on our hands. Until then, mild U.S. inversion isn’t enough to make me bearish.

  40. KP commented on Sep 15

    Nothing triggers my remote finger faster than that screaming idiot on CNBC. sheesh. I’d pay good money to have someone slip some ipecac in his pre-tapping 5 gallon cup of coffee.

  41. Cherry commented on Sep 15

    TC, come on man, what is a ‘soft landing’? 2001? Your mumbling and don’t have a thing to say. I can’t believe you even crowed about those Mortgage Apps BS. Typical Labor Day run up, so was last year, MUCH more last year. Get ready for a nasty correction, which has already happened!!!!!!!

    Inflation? Already high for 10 years. Again, man, we already know that lie and the ugly deflationary problems they want to avoid. It is housing’s bust, much like dot.com’s and it has come. Deal with that and LOOK at it. People are so stupid, much like in 2000, the are completely missing the root cause. It is what follows the bust in 2007-8 which will determine if a 2001 like recession turns into the next great recession. Mercy. Silly people.

  42. donna commented on Sep 15

    People spending more on groceries due to higher costs and the organic shift, which is shifting pricing to higher-end grocery stores and organic products. I often pay a bit more for organic meats and produce, have shifted to the lower-end store near us for other basics, though. They are gaining a LOT of business with lower prices. I expect eventually organic and oil-based products (oil-based pesticides, fertilizers, etc…) will level out if oil prices shift higher. Big companies have bought out most of the major organic suppliers at this point, but at least one store here still does a lot of local produce.

    I am still not seeing any new areas of development or investment and am sitting on a lot of cash, not seeing much new to invest in, really, and am not a market player.

    Real estate here in San Diego area is very very slow, had a guy out here last week to price air conditioning and heating system for me who normally does construction and maintenance for the homebuilders – he is struggling to keep eight crews busy so is now competing for residential business. Offered me a helluva good deal, too.

    Good thing oil prices are shifitng down for the fall. And thank goodness no big hurricanes here this year. (so far, anyway…)

    Overall, this looks a lot like an 80s replay to me so far. If oil takes off for any reason, maybe 70s even. Farther out, I’m not seeing ANY new areas of development, though, so I’m pretty worried we have no place to grow this economy, unless we turn to redevelopment and infrastructure efforts, which would take getting the hell out of Iraq.

  43. David Sternfeld commented on Sep 15

    Has anyone else corroborated the 270 plus trillion dollar amount of derivative “investments” spawned with bubble-credit in the past decade?

    Whatever the number is — it’s kind of hard to get a handle on the financialized credit-cancer that’s grown this quickly — it’s essentially THE MOST HUMONGUS speculative bet made in the history of mankind.

    Please. Cease speaking of “wealth” creation, all of you smarmy NeoConMen and Fed price-fixers. You can’t tell the truth… can you?

    Are these “Assets” as the propagandists in Washington suggest? Nonsense! These assets are on the verge of reverting to their prime value: binary impulse notations in data bases. Let creationists debate the number of angels on a pin point. How many credits can be created with a key stroke? Any reasonable person can see the abject foolishness of the nostrum that our ability — a near infinite ability — to create credit does not produce wealth, per se. It requires arduous effort to create wealth (not key-stoke simplicity); wealth being that which has endurable value and enables additional productivity.

    Inflation is the rate of creation of the supply of credit that exceeds the rate of increase of things for which credit is exchanged. If you’re looking at Fed-suggested CPI you’ve swallowed the Kool Aid. You can easily see inflation in the prices of everything aggregated, much of which the NeoConMen hide.

    They exclude so-called “volatile” items. They abuse the adjective: volatile means moving up and down unpredictably. That which they exclude have not been going UP AND DOWN so much as they have simply GONE UP… and rapidly. Food, medical care, energy, and housing are either excluded or massaged downward with selective and non-statistical, but ideologically purposeful adjustments. To these “volatiles” add financialized items the prices of which are supported with electrical impulse credits: real estate, housing, shares, bonds, commodities, et. al.

    The credit-bubble shows up plainly in the prices of everything, if you’re not playing fast and loose with the definition of everything… in other words the “facts.” Are you betting that this credit-bubble chimera isn’t poised to EXPLODE and CRASH these faux-asset speculative valuations and maybe a few data bases in the process? If so, I’m betting against you.

    Why hold hope for the day when more than a few see the hoax and the damage done? The NeoConMen know you can fool most of the people most of the time.


  44. Matt P commented on Sep 15

    Fund Shills rebut re: soft v. hard landing: “data…we don’t need no stinking data!”

    Good news sells stocks. Therefore, the financial press filters or rigs the news to condition mom and pop to continue to “average into” long only equity funds…just note the primary advertisers in the financial media.

    Re: Jim Cramer…he “was” good at providing a pulse of the market back when he ran his fund but alas he has fallen in the gutter with the other shills and “three card monti” thugs…kinda sad

  45. babycondor commented on Sep 15

    The Cherry Conundrum:

    “Get ready for a nasty correction, which has already happened!!!!!!!”

    You heard it here first, folks!

  46. DBLWYO commented on Sep 15

    Just for the record YOY ‘growth’ in monthly retail sales was 1.02% in June and .45% in July after several months of 3-5% figures. While GDP, et.al. have flattened off in YOY terms that’s a pretty severe slowing. Combine that with the analysis above on CPI changes and it tends to support Barry’s and this blogs general arguments pretty well.

    Though I will admit that I likewise missed (chickened out on) his ‘tradable low’ call in June and left my ‘bottom-falls-out’ bets in place anticipating a fall bust. Let’s hope Barry and Cherry are indeed prescient. Jim Jubak has a nice column on the subject recently: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/JubaksJournal/HowToPlayTheFallMarketSlump.aspx
    and the the two after that are worth reading as well. Puts a lot of this in context and structure.

  47. V L commented on Sep 17

    Re: Cramer

    Probably, without even realizing it this manic clown (especially when he is off Lithium) has created multiple great trading opportunities. I have been following the manic-hypo manic flip-flopper for a year now and 80% of a time I have profited 5-10% from a trade. Caveat: you need to do the opposite of what Cramer is recommending during his manic episodes and short the stock a couple of days later. Usually, after Cramer hypes it up, during his TV show, the price of that stock will be moving up (short term and depending on the stock and market conditions) for the next a couple of days (secondary to some fools blindly following on his recommendations and some traders jumping on the wave for a ride). Often, you will be amazed how many fools are buying without even realizing that it is a previously (many months earlier) pre-recorded show.
    It is amazing how often consistently shorting a stock after his buy recommendation works and makes you money.

    As far as CPI, one number does not change the entire picture. It is insufficient to make any conclusions and nothing major has really changed.

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