Life would be a lot cheaper if we didn’t eat. Be cheaper if we didn’t drive, or could live outside with the animals. In fact, death is the cheapest thing around when comes right down to it; but you’d miss things like income tax, doctor visits, basketball and baseball…so maybe this Life is a no-win game.
Further evidence mounts when you look at the freshly baked cost of living report:
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Over the last 12 months, the all items index was unchanged before seasonal adjustment.
The seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index was broad-based, with increases in shelter, energy, and food indexes all contributing. The energy index rose after a long series of declines, increasing 1.0 percent as the gasoline index turned up after falling in recent months. The food index, unchanged last month, also rose in February, though major grocery store food group indexes were mixed.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in February, the same increase as in January. In addition to shelter, the indexes for used cars and trucks, apparel, new vehicles, tobacco, and airline fares were among those that increased. The medical care index was unchanged, while the personal care index declined. The all items index was unchanged over the past 12 months, after showing a 0.1-percent decline for the 12 months ending January. Over the last 12 months the food index rose 3.0 percent and the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.7 percent. These increases were offset by an 18.8-percent decline in the energy index.
In terms of what’s ahead, a simple way to eyeball it is to look at the price of gasoline. The Triple A Fuel Gauge report says the national average is $2.419 versus $2.312 last month. Tnhat’s up 4.6% month on month.
When we get into next month, therefore, we would expect to see a bit of upward pressure on the CPI due to gas prices. Likely in the range of zero to 2.1% in 30-days, or something on that order.
The key thing to notice is that there really is inflation: Food is up 3% YoY and and shelter’s up 3% also. When gas prices return to “real” we will see genuine inflation in spades. As the numbers above point out, gas prices this month of already edging back up quickly.
And then later on – when vegetables ought to be coming in from California, we might see prices rise because of the drought. Latest predictions are that will continue. And we’ve heard from a few readers about some California farmers who are not planting this year in order to sell their water allocations to big (thirsty) cities of the Southland. It’s easy money for them; higher prices for the rest of us.
Dow futures are up 31 and the Baltic Dry Index over the past couple of weeks has clawed its way back toward the 600 level with 594 being reported this morning.
We’ve been eyeing the current mania around stocks – globally – as something of a rhyme off the 1928-1929 period, but the comparison is uneven at best.
The recent FCC decisions on the Internet argue that we should be rhyming with 1934 – when the Communications Act was passed in the last big Depression.
Similarly, the “soft confiscation” of personal assets is really an analog to the same period, 1933-34 when confiscation of gold and silver took place. Now, the government seems to be indicating that anything that’s not nailed down will be subject to scrutiny, which is what happens when the bankster class can’t hornswoggle another idiot into paper. More on this in the Coping section, next.
Bitcoins are back down to the $260 range after making a valiant upside breakout attempt. But with reports the banksters/Fed are working on a scheme to usurp/replace Btc’s, no telling how that will work out.’
This morning’s Big News is that the run-up in Europe was continuing. Good earnings are part of it.
Market’s tend to look past headline events like the German passenger jet crash this morning in France that killed 148. Stuff happens, but as long as it doesn’t fall on an exchange….
Global markets tracked by our Global Index over on the Peoplenomics side of the house, have been arguing for weeks that the western markets should break to the upside, not down as the doom-porn crowd has been touting.
Despite the arrival of zero-percent inflation in the UK, the Euro printing festival – QE whatever number this is – has driven down the dollar and that means it will take more of our scrip to buy the underlying values for those wishing to invest in overheated consumerism.
In the end, the illusion is intact for another fine spring day, and markets love to climb a wall of worry.
Many times in the column I have referred you to the extraordinary work of Immanuel Velikovsky who proposed that large planetary collisions in space are how our worlds because aligned as they are.
Today, the article in Forbes about the “Jupiter Smashed The Super-Earth Version Of Our Solar System” is definitely worth study.
Something to Worry About?
The Muslims in the Middle East seem to be dead-set on killing off one another with the Shi’ites making a big move in Yemen. So far, the US has not been dragged into things – just like we were wisely not dragged into to what looked in retrospect like an Israeli/Saudi attempt to lure us into Syria with the whole gas thing.
This is troublesome, however, because the US is the big dog and dragging us in on one side, or the other, seems like it is still in play.
You see, the Shi’ites (IRAN and friends) can hold their nuclear talks hostage on the one hand, while the Sunni side (SAUDIS and friends/known enemies) can hold oil and their purported nukes from Pakistan. Curiously, as difficult as relations may be between the Israelis and Saudis, they are both quite wary of Iran and so escalation into regional nuclear is possible there as a consequence of us not choosing up sides.
For all my criticism of the US adventurism on behalf of the Euro-moguls in EUkraine, the Obama regime seems to be doing a passable job of tight-rope walking.
But that’s not acceptable to the Global Caliphate, so we are, in my estimation, at very high risk of a false flag from that part of the world – aimed at the American core and larger than 9/11 – in order to evoke a public outcry for blood, and both sides of the Sunni-Shi’ite conflict seem to have motive.
And there’s even something in it for the power-thirsting bureaucrats: Armed with (misnamed) Patriot Acts “law” they would be in an even stronger position to brutally stomp down new media and secure the headspace of the MSM from us free-thinking barbarians at the gate.
So it’s quite likely that below the surface, the threat on American homeland has never been higher. All that would be needed would be a faltering economy, evidence of which should be along by late summer to turn the tumblers in the lock of future.
Yet Another Worry
Continues to be EUkraine and the whole crescent of the Dnieper-Donets petroleum basin.that swings around up north of there.
Our always controversial military affairs analyst (warhammer) makes note of this:
“In response to Russia’s muscle-flexing, Lithuania joins Estonia in reinstating conscription into the military. The Czech Republic looks soon to follow, while Poland and Latvia are strongly weighing doing the same.
A couple of thoughts: Yes, this series of developments is likely in response to the Putin Policy, my term for his occupying, then ultimately annexing former Warsaw Pact territory. With both the EU and the US averse to commencing sizeable military escalation, Russia pretty much has an open season in the region.
According to the linked article above:
Under the plan, men between the ages of 19 to 26, and graduates of higher education institutions up to age 38, are to serve in the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Between 3,000 and 3,500 men will be drafted each year.
The part addressing higher ed grads caught my eye. These folks may be in the mix so as to provide fresh blood for the officer corps, which is traditionally college educated. The U.S. did not follow this approach during the Vietnam draft days. In fact, one could earn a military deferment by attending college and/or graduate school.
I’d call the E. European conscription development a potential leading indicator for a rising militaristic outlook in the region. NATO and US arms dealers are no doubt smiling like the butcher’s dog at the prospect! “
Now, toss into your thinking that we keep hearing that supplies of war materiel to Europe have continued unabated so it does have a sense of storm clouds continuing to gather over Eastern Europe.