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2017 Charts of the Week

Inflation

Chart of the Week for June 16, 2017 - June 22, 2017

The year-over-year change in the Consumer Price Index in May was the lowest in six months.

The Consumer Price Index ("CPI") is a closely watched economic indicator published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Index is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a fixed market basket of consumer goods and services. The chart above shows the year-over-change in CPI for the first five months of 2017.

CPI increased by 1.9% year-over-year in May 2017, which was the slowest growth since November 2016, and a decrease from the five-year high of 2.7% reported in February 2017. CPI is one indicator monitored by the Federal Reserve Board ("Fed") to measure inflation. While the 1.9% figure was below the Fed's target of 2% annual inflation growth, the Fed still announced on June 14, 2017 a possible reduction in its balance sheet starting later this year and increased the target rate range of the Federal Funds Rate by 0.25%. It's the Fed's third interest rate hike since December 2016. Some economists wonder how the slowing rate of inflation growth will impact upcoming Fed decisions.

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