CNBC brought its usual A-game this morning when its in-studio guest Constance Hunter, Chief Economist for Aladdin Capital Holdings, was called upon to comment on the CPI data released. Immediately after the government reported “headline” CPI increase of .5% and “core” (everything but food and fuel) CPI increase of .2%, market maven Hunter was asked whether the Federal Reserve should be reacting to the headline numbers. Ms. Hunter replied,
“You know, even though people feel that, I mean, you go buy gas a couple times a week, you go buy groceries a couple times a week. People feel that in their psychology but that doesn’t really mean that inflation is higher because of course you are not buying a car, you know, every month unless you are Jay Leno and so, you know, those prices have come down over the years.”
So because the average working stiff keeps buying groceries and gas twice a week, he or she gets it into their non-chief-economist head that there is inflation and that it is a bad thing. Clearly they should quit wasting so much of their money on those things and should be buying new cars every month, then they would “feel in their psychology” that there isn’t really any inflation.
But wait, according to the data, new car prices rose 1% this month while food went up .6% and gasoline jumped 3.4%. So why is Mr. Leno supposed to be feeling so great about inflation again?
Here is the full train wreck from this morning:
Hopefully Aladdin has started taking applications for a new chief economist.