The reaction to last week’s CPI print was pretty dramatic. We see a couple of related factors:
- Given the fall in gas prices, the S&P had bumped off the bottom in anticipation of a soft print. Positioning went from negative to perhaps modestly positive. CPI caught the market on the wrong foot.
- Gas prices as reported in the CPI did fall as expected, but just about everything else went up (see graph below). Everyone knows gas fell because of releases from the Strategic Petroleum reserve. That policy is the definition of “transitory” (they will need to buy it back, no less). With everything else going up, inflation fears pulled a Lazarus.
Watch rents. Lagging but steady inflation indicator, closely tied to wages.