BLS Says Patriots Ball Boy Found Tampering With CPI Spreadsheets

Europe has slipped into deflation and so has the United States. This data is from the Billion Price Project at MIT. The freshest data comes from their sister side, Price Stats. It shows the decline in monthly inflation continued unabated into 2015, so monthly deflation is now at 2008 levels. Monthly deflation only lasted for 5 months in 2008/2009.

Mish has a discussion of deflation at his site (Asset Price Deflation Coming Up? Food Prices About to Drop? CPI About to Go Negative? Credit Deflation?), and he posted this picture. The annual CPI bottoms out one year after the peak in oil prices.

Here's the core CPI, which didn't go negative in 2008, but did slip below zero for one month in January 2010.

I went back to the late 1990s to see how the CPI was doing then, and the drop in oil all the way to $8 a barrel did slow inflation, but it didn't cause deflation. Looking at 2008 and current prices, annual deflation is likely to last until the summer, assuming the drop is similar to 2008. If a more pernicious slowdown is underway, perhaps due to a rapidly slowing Chinese economy, the deflation could last much longer than the 2008 episode.

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