Strange Inflation News

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | 08:08 AM

Consumer_price_index CPI gets released this morning at 8:30.

Consensus forecast for September 07 -- both the headline number, and the Core -- are for +0.2%.

Meanwhile, in one of those weird coincidences, three odd inflation anecdotes crossed my path this week.

Travel: On the LIRR yesterday, officials handed out flyers about the upcoming hearings for price increases, ranging from 8% to 11.1%. Obviously, the cost of fuel is impacting the railroad's ability to keep its deficit closed -- a feat accomplished after the last fare increase, passed 18 months ago.
>

Food Costs: Domino's Pizza (DPZ), the nations largest pizza chain,missed on both revenues and earnings yesterday. Why? Let's go to the company's CEO: "Unprecedented cost pressures and a weak consumer environment negatively impacted our domestic results in the quarter, which made striking the right balance between increasing prices, while operating in a period of declining traffic, very difficult."

Unprecedented. Cost. Pressures.

The firm noted that higher labor, food and packaging costs, as well as higher interest expenses, were only part of the problem: The company's own pizza price increases could not implemented fast enough by franchisees to outpace their rising input costs.

That's right, inflation has been running faster than their ability to print new menus!

>
Works of Art: No, this isn't another screed about how high prices are in the Art world. This is a different type of observation. It comes from the What'€™s Offline section of the weekend NYT:

"Higher prices for metals are being blamed for an increase in the theft of sculptures worldwide, Art & Antiques Magazine reports. More than 300 bronze, aluminum and copper sculptures have been registered with the Art Loss Register, an industry database, since January 2005."

Works of art are being stolen not to be resold them into the high priced collector's market, but rather, because the underlying metal has increased so much in price, they are valuable for the scrap metal alone.

>

All I can say is, thank goodness inflation is contained! Imagine what would be going on if it were actually elevated!


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Sources:
Domino's Pizza profit down 55 pct, shares tumble
Aarthi Sivaraman
Reuters, Oct 16 2007
http://tinyurl.com/22ctco

What's Offline
The Revolt of the Childless
PAUL B. BROWN
NYT, October 13, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/13/business/media/13offline.html

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | 08:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (49) | TrackBack (0)
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"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Come January, the nation's nearly 50 million Social Security recipients will see the smallest cost-of-living increases in their monthly checks in four years, even though they are paying significantly more for such items as food, energy and medical care."

COLA ex reality

Posted by: Winston Munn | Oct 17, 2007 8:42:07 AM

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