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Inflation --- price of everything is going up.


Inflation --- price of everything is going up.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Thursday that a significant inflation gauge closely monitored by the Federal Reserve fell short of expectations, registering an annual rate of 3% compared to the previous month's 3.4% figure. The core personal consumption price expenditures index, which excludes the often unpredictable costs of food and energy, also experienced a decline, reaching an annualized rate of 3.5% in October, down from 3.7% in the previous month.


The core index remained consistent with estimates, while the overall index showed a slight improvement. These results suggest that inflation has slowed down from the high rates seen last year, when consumer inflation was at an annual rate of 9.1%. Energy prices dropped by 4.8% from the previous year, which offset the 0.2% increase in goods and 4.4% increase in services. Food prices also rose by 2.4%. Despite previous concerns about persistent inflation, the recent slowdown in core PCE readings is a positive sign. For the past eight months, core PCE has risen by 0.3% or less, and on a three-month annualized basis, it is close to the Fed's 2% target. Kathy Jones, the chief fixed income strategist at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, shared her thoughts on social media.

Housing costs, a key component of inflation, are exhibiting a deceleration. According to online rental site Zumper, rents barely increased in November, with one-bedroom apartments experiencing a mere half-percent rise in rents. This is the lowest increase since December 2020, and half of the cities on Zumper's Top 100 list are displaying year-over-year rent declines. The National Association of Realtors' index, released on Thursday, indicates that pending home sales fell 1.5% in October, reaching a record low dating back to 2001. The spike in mortgage rates has impacted demand, with all regions of the country, except the Northeast, posting decreases. Sales were down 8.5% from October 2022 on a yearly basis. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, stated, "During October, mortgage rates were at their highest, and contract signings for existing homes were at their lowest in more than 20 years. Recent weeks' successive declines in mortgage rates will help qualify more home buyers, but limited housing inventory is significantly preventing housing demand from fully being satisfied." On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released its "beige book" summary of economic conditions around the country, indicating a slowdown in activity. Four of the 12 regional Fed districts reported modest growth, while the rest reported either a slowdown or flat activity.



Curt Long, the chief economist at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, stated that the Federal Reserve's latest beige book indicates a slowdown in growth, with consumption and inflation decelerating and the labor market reaching a better equilibrium. Long believes that these conditions will pave the way for a rate cut in the first half of 2024. Investors have been optimistic about the possibility of a "soft landing" scenario, where economic conditions slow down sufficiently to curb inflation without triggering a recession. As a result, stock markets have experienced an increase of approximately 8.5% in November. Furthermore, as the month draws to a close, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up by over 200 points in pre-market trading. In a separate report, the Labor Department revealed that the number of individuals filing initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 7,000 last week to reach 218,000. However, the four-week moving average decreased by 500 to 220,000 compared to the revised figure from the previous period.



Regular Contributor

Yes unfortunately inflation has been climbing higher and higher since 1971. I fear we are going to have a crash at some point so I am allocating my assets into other investments.

If you are interested in gold check out my site!

Everybody wants to know the secrets to saving money, these days. There are no magic formulas, but there are plenty of tips and tools, depending on the individual. Sadly, too many seniors are forced to make difficult decisions with their finances, myself being one of them. Sometimes, we must, even, choose between good nutrition, health care, and bills. I've done that a time, or two. So, what are we to do? I became budget and finance savvy, and found many ways to save money, while trying to increase my available funds. I am, however, single, with no children, pets, credit cards, or much debt. Varying degrees of food insecurity and financial instability have taught me not to wake up one morning with no money and no toilet paper, at the same time. 

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