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June 15, 2004

Tame Inflation Deflates Kerry Camp

Inflation is tamer than expected:

"It means we're back to the best of everything -- we'll have higher rates but slowly and methodically rather than that half point jump everybody was getting a little bit more concerned with," said John Hughes, market analyst at Shields & Co., who believes the data showed the Fed doesn't need to go 50 basis points this month.

As predictable as Michael Moore huddling over the shrimp bar at a wedding reception, the New York Times hypes the rise in the consumer price index, although that's not the best predictor of inflation, and even though the rise in consumer prices just tells us what we already know (i.e., the price of gasoline spiked).

But Greenspan says the Fed must be prepared to respond to "threats" to the economy, including another possible terrorist strike. I'm not a Greenspan watcher, but what this sounds like to me is Greenspan proposing an alternative reason to hike interest rates.

Inflation may not be a threat, but terrorism is, and so the Fed will raise rates, if only to have the power to lower them dramatically if necessary.

There are three constants in the universe: the speed of light, the cosmological constant, and Greenspan thinking that now would be a great time to raise rates.

Donald Luskin takes diminutive dean Paul Krugman to task for always predicting soaring inflation, or at least always predicting soaring inflation during Republican administrations. The paranoid Princetonian never seems to get around to explaining why his previous predictions have been so woefully off the mark.


Rasmussen finds investor and consumer confidence surging. On the other hand, he finds Bush and Kerry knotted up again at 46%.

Modest cowbell:

No cowbell for this:

New York State's growth exceeds national growth.

Nice for New York, but Bush isn't going to win in New York. Can't all those growing New York businesses relocate to Ohio?


Update: The University of Michigan's survey of consumer confidence shows a huge gain:

The University of Michigan's preliminary survey of consumer confidence for June showed its sentiment index rose to 95.2 from a final reading of 90.2 in May, according to sources who saw the subscription-only report, breaking a two-month decline.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a fall to 89.9 as record-high gasoline prices and geopolitical concerns were expected to have offset some of the optimism over the improvement in the labor market...

"The rebound in hiring over the past three months is finally affecting consumer attitudes about the economy. However, the improvement in sentiment has been relatively sluggish," said Steven Wood, economist at Insight Economics.

"Although sentiment remains well below its levels of the late 1990's, further job gains will push it higher," he said.


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posted by Ace at 12:40 PM

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