It is an old truism: figures don’t lie, but liars do figure…
That is pretty much why I am skeptical of the current inflation numbers coming out of a politically-corrupted dysfunctional administration that has demonstrated it is willing to lie about anything to pursue its toxic progressive communist democrat agenda.
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX – JANUARY 2022
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.6 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The all items index rose 7.5 percent for the 12 months ending January, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 1982. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.0 percent, the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982. The energy index rose 27.0 percent over the last year, and the food index increased 7.0 percent. <Source>
Another truism: the devil is in the details, or in the case of financial reports, the footnotes…
Unless you are a statistics wonk, the takeaway from the extensive footnotes is that the presented numbers are subject to many assumption-based adjustments and can be revised up to five years after publication. Thus, they can produce almost any numbers they desire.
- Brief Explanation of the CPI
- Sampling Error in the CPI
- Calculating Index Changes
- Use of Seasonally Adjusted and Unadjusted Data
- Intervention Analysis
The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses intervention analysis seasonal adjustment (IASA) for some CPI series. Sometimes extreme values or sharp movements can distort the underlying seasonal pattern of price change. Intervention analysis seasonal adjustment is a process by which the distortions caused by such unusual events are estimated and removed from the data prior to calculation of seasonal factors. The resulting seasonal factors, which more accurately represent the seasonal pattern, are then applied to the unadjusted data. For example, this procedure was used for the motor fuel series to offset the effects of the 2009 return to normal pricing after the worldwide economic downturn in 2008. Retaining this outlier data during seasonal factor calculation would distort the computation of the seasonal portion of the time series data for motor fuel, so it was estimated and removed from the data prior to seasonal adjustment. Following that, seasonal factors were calculated based on this “prior adjusted” data. These seasonal factors represent a clearer picture of the seasonal pattern in the data. The last step is for motor fuel seasonal factors to be applied to the unadjusted data. For the seasonal factors introduced for January 2022, BLS adjusted 70 series using intervention analysis seasonal adjustment, including selected food and beverage items, motor fuels, electricity, and vehicles.
- Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Indexes
Seasonally adjusted data, including the U.S. city average all items index levels, are subject to revision for up to 5 years after their original release. Every year, economists in the CPI calculate new seasonal factors for seasonally adjusted series and apply them to the last 5 years of data. Seasonally adjusted indexes beyond the last 5 years of data are considered to be final and not subject to revision. For January 2022, revised seasonal factors and seasonally adjusted indexes for 2017 to 2021 were calculated and published. For series which are directly adjusted using the Census X-13ARIMA-SEATS seasonal adjustment software, the seasonal factors for 2021 will be applied to data for 2022 to produce the seasonally adjusted 2022 indexes. Series which are indirectly seasonally adjusted by summing seasonally adjusted component series have seasonal factors which are derived and are therefore not available in advance.
- Determining Seasonal Status
Each year the seasonal status of every series is reevaluated based upon certain statistical criteria. Using these criteria, BLS economists determine whether a series should change its status from "not seasonally adjusted" to "seasonally adjusted", or vice versa. If any of the 81 components of the U.S. city average all items index change their seasonal adjustment status from seasonally adjusted to not seasonally adjusted, not seasonally adjusted data will be used in the aggregation of the dependent series for the last 5 years, but the seasonally adjusted indexes before that period will not be changed. For 2022, 36 of the 81 components of the U.S. city average all items index are not seasonally adjusted. <Source>
What they didn’t say is even more damning…
According to John Williams’ site, "Shadow Government Statistics -- Analysis Behind and Beyond Government Economic Reporting," the inflation picture reflects a process that has been modified over the years.
The CPI chart on the home page reflects our estimate of inflation for today as if it were calculated the same way it was in 1990. The CPI on the Alternate Data Series tab here reflects the CPI as if it were calculated using the methodologies in place in 1980. In general terms, methodological shifts in government reporting have depressed reported inflation, moving the concept of the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living.
Williams calculates inflation as it would have been calculated before 1980 and before 1990. According to William’s numbers, inflation would have been over 15% using pre-1980 methodology and over 10% using pre-1990 methodology.
Remember, as the government continues to print money and refuses to curtail spending, inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. A dangerous spiral is created as prices rise to reflect demand and, like a strengthening tornado, destroys most everything in its path. Modern Monetary Theory is an unorthodox economic theory that posits it is possible to avoid a financial crisis when the government prints and spends money. Like Marxism, it’s all bullpucky.
Let us not forget wage inflation also increases your taxable income – and the amount of taxes collected by the government. It also devalues the funds used to pay off government expenses and obligations.
Inflation, the hidden tax on your wallet, is worse than the administration admits. Something you should remember when you cast your ballot in 2022.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS