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White House: “Supercore” Inflation Is Slowing

By NAM News Room

New wage data from the White House indicates that labor-cost inflation may be easing in key parts of the economy, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

The background: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell recently said he is analyzing inflationary pressures by focusing on what some economists are calling “supercore” inflation, which excludes prices for housing, food, goods and energy—the categories hardest hit by the pandemic.

  • According to an analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, “[S]upercore wage growth for nonmanagement workers has ebbed significantly in the past year, from 8% on a 12-month basis last March to 5.2% in January.”

Why it matters: While the CEA did not comment on the implications of its measure, “the deceleration it identifies could be significant for the path for interest rates,” which the Fed has raised by 4.5 percentage points in less than a year, the quickest pace in four decades.

The NAM says: “Manufacturers continue to be challenged by elevated cost and wage pressures, even with signs of moderation in recent months,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray.

  • “At the same time, the Federal Reserve is looking for further signs of progress along these lines as it continues to wring inflation out of the economy and tries to time the pausing of its interest rate hikes.”
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