Media Statement: Decrease in the CPI is welcomed good news

Media Statement: Decrease in the CPI is welcomed good news

Erik - CPI decrease

Media Statement: Decrease in CPI is welcomed good news, but new policy is not good news for working class and poor

Today the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained even in July, reducing the year-over-year inflation rate to 8.5%. That is a reduction in the rate from June, which was 9.1%.

The Georgia Center for Opportunity’s (GCO) take: “July’s ever-so-slight decrease in the CPI is a sliver of welcome good news in an economic environment where there doesn’t seem to be much good news,” said Erik Randolph, GCO’s director of research. “July’s price level — defined as the weighted average price across the board for goods and services purchased by households — ticked down 0.2% at an annualized rate. But we should pause before getting too enthusiastic about the news. The CPI is still 8.5% higher than 12 months ago, and it is unlikely that the miniscule CPI drop will turn into a sustainable trend. A big reason is federal policy. Congress is about to hike spending yet again with the erroneously named Inflation Reduction Act, and the Federal Reserve acknowledged that its goal is to just bring the inflation rate down to 2%, meaning they will take steps to prevent the price level from coming down from its elevated level. This is horrible policy on both accounts, especially for the working class and the poor, who carry a heavier economic burden with higher prices for what they need to purchase.”

Media Statement: Number of people working hasn’t caught up to pre-pandemic levels

Media Statement: Number of people working hasn’t caught up to pre-pandemic levels

Erik R - statement - July job numbers

Media Statement: Number of people working hasn’t caught up to pre-pandemic levels

On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that total non-farm payroll employment rose by 528,000 in July. The result was much higher than expected.

The Georgia Center for Opportunity’s (GCO) take: “Friday’s jobs report is being billed as great news, but peeling back a few layers reveals a worse reality,” said Erik Randolph, GCO’s director of research. “It’s true the number of jobs in the United States is now at pre-pandemic levels. The difference is that the number of people who are actually working hasn’t caught back up. That implies more people are working two or even three jobs to make ends meet in this highly inflationary environment. Meanwhile, wage growth isn’t keeping pace with inflation, putting poor and working class Americans even further behind.”

Media Statement: Assessing the GDP numbers and what it means

Media Statement: Assessing the GDP numbers and what it means

In The News

Media Statement: Assessing the GDP numbers and what it means

Today, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that in the second quarter of 2022, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 0.9%. That marks two consecutive quarters of negative growth, a barometer of economic health that economists typically use to define a recession.

The Georgia Center for Opportunity’s (GCO) take:
“It’s now official. We’re having stagflation.

There has never been a time when the Business Cycle Dating Committee did not declare a recession when real GDP declined for two consecutive quarters since the availability of quarterly GDP data,” said Erik Randolph, GCO’s director of research. “In fact, the opposite is true. There have been two times, since the availability of the data, without two consecutive real GDP declines when the Committee declared them to be recessions. This happened with their declared 1960 and 2001 recessions. Who knows if and when the NBER Committee will declare whether we’re already in a recession, and for how long. But if it doesn’t declare so despite the real GDP data, it would be unprecedented and require a good explanation. In the meantime, GDP gives perhaps the broadest measure of economic activity, giving a strong signal that we’re in a recession until such time economists work out their various methodologies to affirm or deny.”