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Will CPI Revisions Surprise Again? Market Anticipation Grows

Will CPI Revisions Surprise Again? Market Anticipation Grows

As the date for the annual revisions to the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) approaches, market watchers are on high alert. Last year’s significant adjustments to seasonal factors in CPI data sent shockwaves through financial markets, casting doubts on the trajectory of inflation. With recent remarks from Fed Governor Waller underscoring the importance of these revisions, anticipation for the upcoming CPI revisions on February 9 has intensified.

Read more: What is the Consumer Price Index (CPI)?

Annual CPI Revisions

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) regularly fine-tunes monthly CPI figures to account for seasonal variations that might skew the data, such as harvest impacts or holiday shopping trends. These adjustments enable a more accurate comparison of inflation levels across different months within the same year.

Surprise Revisions of Last Year

In the previous round of revisions, the market experienced unexpected outcomes. Initial CPI readings suggested a decline in core prices, but subsequent adjustments revealed an upward revision, leaving investors startled. This discrepancy fueled uncertainty about the inflation trajectory, influencing market sentiments and monetary policy expectations.

Analysts’ Perspectives

Despite last year’s surprises, some analysts remain skeptical of another outlier event. Firms like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America argue that statistical probabilities are low for a repeat occurrence. They downplay the potential impact of the upcoming CPI revisions on monetary policy outlook, suggesting a more subdued market reaction compared to last year.

Market Implications

Nevertheless, market participants are closely monitoring the CPI revisions for any indications of shifting inflation dynamics. The outcome could influence the timing of expected Fed rate adjustments later in the year, a key determinant currently shaping both stock and bond markets. As February 9 approaches, all eyes remain fixated on the CPI revision, awaiting clues about the future direction of inflation and its implications for monetary policy.


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