Saturday, June 29, 2013

Increases in Certain Price Over the Past Ten Years

Paul Krugman provided us certain information on the price of bread and milk as a reaction to a rant from Erick Erickson:
The rest of America is nervous about where their next meal and paycheck are coming from, how they are going to afford to bail their kids out of crumbling schools, and the price of a gallon of milk and loaf of bread that keep going up though Ben Bernanke tells them there is no inflation.
I’m a little surprised that this rant failed to mention the price of gasoline so permit me to provide a similar chart for that. Paul’s graphs (plus ours) show that these prices are volatile but haven’t had much of an upward trend over the past 5 years. But I guess one could say they have risen a bit over the past 10 years. Mik prices as of May 2013 were 28% higher than they were as of May 2003, while bread prices rose by 40% over the same period. And gasoline prices have risen by 135% over this 10-year period. But let’s break this into the period from May 2003 to May 2008 (a period where Federal Reserve policy wasn’t that expansionary) versus the period from May 2008 to May 2013 (where the Federal Reserve has increased the monetary base substantially). Milk prices rose by 40% over the earlier period and have moderated since. Bread prices rose by 37% over the earlier period with the increase over the past 5 years being just over 2%. Gasoline prices are even more fun given how Republicans tried to argue that Obama has doubled gasoline prices as they focus on the change since December 2008 ignoring the fact that this followed a major dip from its height in May 2008. If we use our 5-year period (May to May), gasoline prices soared by 144% during the earlier period and have basically moderated since. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t recall Mr. Erickson complaining about hyperinflation when George W. Bush was President.

No comments: