Decoding the First CPI Report of 2024: Inflation, Stickiness, and Economic Implications

 

 

The battle to reign in the economy continues in 2024.

Inflation continues to be top of mind as the first Consumer Price Index (CPI) report of 2024 was released this month. According to the report, Americans experienced a 3.4% increase in the cost of living compared to the beginning of 2023. The numbers in the CPI are a full percentage point over what the Federal Reserve projected for the end of 2023. So what is going on?

Much of that increase in inflation was due to the rise in the cost of housing, where both homeowners and renters saw an increase of 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. Another major contributing factor is the cost of car insurance and medical care. An increase in all three areas may have many experts and consumers scratching their heads, asking themselves: Are we truly out of the woods after the Covid-19 pandemic? What do these CPI report numbers signify for the economic climate in 2024 and how should businesses strategically respond?

These are some of the questions at the center of today’s episode of Expert’s Talk. Host Daniel J. Litwin delves into the implications of the first CPI report for 2024, highlighting the importance of understanding the ripple effects of inflation on factors such as potential Fed rate adjustments, business operations, and consumer confidence. The stakes are high, considering the projections and the unexpected growth in inflation.

The episode, part of MarketScale’s premium roundtable series, features guests including Dr. Joshua Wilson, host of the Untamed Ethos podcast; Philip Colmar, a global macro strategist with the Macro Research Board; and Omar Fares, a lecturer of retail management at the Toronto Metropolitan University. The scope of discussion revolves around breaking down the numbers and understanding their implications.

 Join the conversation where these experts:

  • Dissect the key figures from the CPI report, emphasizing the 0.3% increase in prices and the 3.4% 12-month inflation rate, exceeding expectations.
  • Contemplate the stickiness of inflation, highlighting its implications for the Fed’s expectations and the potential impact on the bond market and businesses’ cost of capital.
  • Discuss the broader economic health, examining the signals provided by the CPI numbers and their significance for the year ahead.

Omar Fares is a lecturer at Toronto Metropolitan University who specializes in retail management with a focus on digital innovation, consumer technology integrations, and consumer behavior.

Dr. Joshua Wilson is a financial service professional who’s a seasoned wealth management executive with a breadth of experience in strategy, business development, and more.

Philip Colmar possesses over 20 years of experience as a financial strategist and economist. His primary focus is on global multi-asset investment strategy, trading opportunities, and financial market risks.

 

Written by Shanice Bennerson-LaGon

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