"When is the next CPI report?" was a question no one was asking back in the days of 2% inflation readings.
Alas, those days are long gone. Inflation hit a four-decade high in 2022, prompting the Federal Reserve to embark on its most aggressive campaign of interest rate hikes since the late Carter and early Reagan administrations.
Though inflation peaked more than a year ago, the fact remains that it's still too high for the central bank's comfort. That's why the Consumer Price Index or CPI report has become pretty much the star of the economic data calendar.
Markets desperately want the Fed to stop raising interest rates – and especially look forward to a time when the central bank pivots to rate cuts – but that won't happen until after inflation is under control. There's also the very real fear that rising rates could cause the economy to fall into a recession.
This explains the market's obsession with the next CPI report. And the one after that, and the one after that.
For the record, the CPI report is released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on price data collected over the course of the month.
Per the BLS, prices for the goods and services used to calculate the CPI are collected in 75 urban areas throughout the country and from about 23,000 retail and service establishments. Data on rents are collected from about 50,000 landlords or tenants. The weight for an item is derived from reported expenditures on that item as estimated by the Consumer Expenditure Survey.
The CPI report is broken down into many subcategories, but the two main ones you'll hear most about on CPI day are headline CPI and core CPI. The headline number is the main inflation gauge. Core CPI excludes volatile food and energy prices, and is considered to be a better predictor of future inflation. The data are expressed as percent changes, and are measured both month-to-month and year-over-year.
As for the next CPI report, the November inflation figures are slated for release by the BLS on December 12 at 8:30 am Eastern time. The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's Nowcast predicts headline inflation in November to increase by 3.1%, down from the 3.2% rate seen in the October CPI report. On a monthly basis, November inflation is forecast to rise 0.05%, or up slightly from an unchanged reading the prior month.
November's core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is expected to increase 4.1% annually and 0.3% on a monthly basis. October's core CPI rose 4.0% year-over-year and 0.2% on a monthly basis.
The inflation data will certainly influence what the central bank decides to do at the next Fed meeting. The FOMC left interest rates unchanged when it last met in early November. But experts say the latest inflation data could mean the Fed is done hiking rates this cycle, and could even begin to cut by the middle of next year.
To keep tabs on when the next CPI report lands, please see the schedule of release dates, courtesy of the BLS, below.
|Reference Month||Release Date|
|April 2023||May 10, 2023 (8:30 am Eastern)|
|May 2023||June 13, 2023 (8:30 am Eastern)|
|June 2023||July 12, 2023 (8:30 am Eastern)|
|July 2023||August 10, 2023 (8:30 am Eastern)|
|August 2023||September 13, 2023 (8:30 am Eastern)|
|September 2023||October 12, 2023 (8:30 am Eastern)|
|October 2023||November 14, 2023 (8:30 am Eastern)|
|November 2023||December 12, 2023 (8:30 am Eastern)|
Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.
A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.
Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.
In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.
Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.
Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.
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