Business Cycle Indicators at End-February, January Inflation Recap

Personal income and consumption for January, and manufacturing and trade industry sales for December, were released last week. The PCE deflator for January was also released, rounding out January inflation numbers.

Figure 1: Nonfarm payroll employment (dark blue), Bloomberg consensus for February NFP (blue +), industrial production (red), personal income excluding transfers in Ch.2012$ (green), manufacturing and trade sales in Ch.2012$ (black), consumption in Ch.2012$ (light blue), and monthly GDP in Ch.2012$ (pink), all log normalized to 2020M02=0. NBER defined recession dates, peak-to-trough, shaded gray. Source: BLS, Federal Reserve, BEA, via FRED, IHS Markit (nee Macroeconomic Advisers) (2/1/2022 release), NBER, and author’s calculations.

Consumption growth continued, even as personal income excluding transfers fell.

PCE inflation (m/m) rose slightly — as did all the other indicators except that for Chained CPI.

Figure 2: Month-on-month inflation of CPI (blue), chained CPI (brown), 16% trimmed CPI inflation (red), sticky price CPI inflation (green), personal consumption expenditure deflator inflation (black), all in decimal form (i.e., 0.05 means 5%).  Chained CPI seasonally adjusted using arithmetic deviations (brown). NBER defined recession dates (peak-to-trough) shaded gray. Source: BLS, BEA, Atlanta Fed, NBER, and author’s calculations.