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Inflation Threat “Starts With The Fed” – President Biden Comments On Hotter Than Expected CPI

Inflation Threat "Starts With The Fed" – President Biden Comments On Hotter Than Expected CPI

Update (1010ET): Having deflected any blame…

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Inflation Threat "Starts With The Fed" - President Biden Comments On Hotter Than Expected CPI

Update (1010ET): Having deflected any blame for the soaring costs of living in America, President Biden has issued a statement this morning on the hotter than expected consumer price inflation in April:

While it is heartening to see that annual inflation moderated in April, the fact remains that inflation is unacceptably high. As I said yesterday, inflation is a challenge for families across the country and bringing it down is my top economic priority. 

This starts with the Federal Reserve, which plays a primary role in fighting inflation in our country. I thank the Senate for confirming Dr. Lisa Cook to the Board of Governors last night, and urge the Senate to confirm my remaining nominees without delay. While I will never interfere with the Fed’s independence, I believe we have built a strong economy and a strong labor market, and I agree with what Chairman Powell said last week that the number one threat to that strength – is inflation. I am confident the Fed will do its job with that in mind.   

Beyond the Fed, my inflation plan is focused on lowering the costs that families face and lowering the federal deficit. Already this week, my Administration has announced new steps in partnership with the private sector to lower the price of high speed internet for tens of millions of Americans. And, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the federal budget deficit in the first seven months of this fiscal year fell by $1.5 trillion—putting us on track for the most deficit reduction in any year on record. The CBO also confirmed that the budget deficit so far this year is lower than it was during the same period in 2019, before the pandemic began.  Today, I am traveling to Illinois to speak with farmers about more we can do to lower their costs and help them produce more, lowering the price of food for Americans and around the world. All of this is progress, but the fight against global supply chain issues related to the pandemic and Putin’s price hike will continue every day. 

Congressional Republicans talk about inflation, but their only plan is to raise taxes on working families, taking even more money out of their pockets.  If they are serious about inflation, they should send me the bipartisan innovation bill to bolster our supply chains and make more in America, along with legislation that cuts costs and the cuts the deficit, reducing families’ prescription drug and utility bills and restoring fairness to our tax code. We’ve made enormous progress in getting our economy back on track, and these measures would help us sustain this progress and bring prices down for families.

So it's The Fed's problem, Republicans are worse, and Democrats' inflation plan is brilliant?

*  *  *

After March's surge in consumer prices, analysts' consensus is that CPI has peaked and April was expected to show a big slowing from +8.5% YoY to +8.1% YoY, however, CPI printed hotter than expected at +8.3% YoY...

Source: Bloomberg

Bear in mind that headline CPI is still at its second highest since 1982.

Core CPI was expected to rise 6.0% YoY in April (down from +6.5% YoY in March) but rose a hotter than expected 6.2% YoY and the 0.6% MoM spike in core is bigger than all 67 estimates in BBG business survey.

Energy inflation eased as Services prices soared MoM...

Source: Bloomberg

Increases in the indexes for shelter, food, airline fares, and new vehicles were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase.  The indexes for medical care, recreation, and household furnishings and operations also increased in April.

Here are some of the stunning, record price increases, first on a Y/Y basis:

  • The food at home index rose 10.8 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1980.

  • The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 14.3 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979

  • The index for airline fares continued to rise sharply, increasing 18.6 percent in April, the largest 1 month increase since the inception of the series in 1963.

And monthly:

  • The food index rose 0.9 percent over the month as the food at home index rose 1.0 percent. The energy index declined in April after rising in recent months. The index for gasoline fell 6.1 percent over the month, offsetting increases in the indexes for natural gas and electricity.

  • The index for new vehicles increased 1.1 percent in April after rising 0.2 percent in March. The medical care index increased 0.4 percent in April.

  • The index for hospital services rose 0.5 percent over the month, the index for physicians’ services rose 0.2 percent, and the index for prescription drugs was unchanged.

  • The index for household furnishings and operations continued to increase, rising 0.4 percent in April after increasing 1.0 percent the prior month.

  • The index for motor vehicle insurance increased 0.8 percent in April.

  • Also rising over the month were the indexes for personal care (+0.4 percent), education (+0.2 percent), alcoholic beverages (+0.4 percent), and tobacco (+0.4 percent).   

but, a few major component indexes declined in April.

  • The apparel index fell 0.8 percent over the month, ending a string of six consecutive increases.

  • The index for communication fell 0.4 percent in April, its third consecutive monthly decline.

  • The index for used cars and trucks also fell 0.4 percent over the month, its third straight decline after a long series of increases.

A full breakdown, YoY...

And M/M:

The cost of putting a roof over your head is soaring:

  • April Shelter inflation rose 5.14% Y/Y, up from 5.00% in March and the highest since March 1991

  • April Rent inflation rose 4.82%, up from 4.44% in March, and the highest since Feb 1991

Away from housing, it is also interesting to observe what’s going on with food away from home, i.e, restaurants. Inflation in the “full-service meals and snacks” category - meals you pay for after you eat - is surging. But the “limited-service” category, which captures meals you pay for before you eat, has been rolling over for several months now. As Bloomberg notes, usually these two move in tandem, so it will be interesting to see if this divergence can be maintained.

That said, and as Goldman warned, strong Services inflation will likely keep CPI elevated while last year's spike in goods prices will increasingly drop out...

Source: Bloomberg

Finally, perhaps most worrying for the average Joe, 'real' wages fell for the 13th straight month...

Source: Bloomberg

Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co., says:

“Very simply, this high inflation number has dimmed the hopes for many investors considerably that we’ve reached peak inflation. Therefore, the Fed will remain hawkish and it just might put a 75 basis point hike back on the table.”

Looking ahead there is good news and bad news, from Katherine Judge at CIBC:

“Looking beyond April, base effects will help annual inflation continue to decelerate in the near term, but that will be limited by gas prices, which are heading higher again, and supply disruptions resulting from lockdowns in China, in combination with the tightening in the labor market and higher shelter prices.”

And a scary prediction from ex-NY Fed president Bill Dudley speaking on BBG TV:

“I was 3% to 4% maybe six months ago. Now I’m 4% to 5%. It wouldn’t shock me if I’m 5% to 6% a few months from now.”

Get back to work Mr.Powell - and Mr.Biden, please stop whatever it is you are doing to 'help'.

Tyler Durden Wed, 05/11/2022 - 10:16

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FDA to soon authorize Pfizer’s COVID booster shot for younger kids – NYT

U.S. health regulators are expected to authorize a booster shot of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 as soon as May 17, the…

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FDA to soon authorize Pfizer’s COVID booster shot for younger kids – NYT

(Reuters) – U.S. health regulators are expected to authorize a booster shot of Pfizer (PFE.N)/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 as soon as Tuesday, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The companies submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the authorization last month.

They have cited data from a mid- to late-stage study showing a third dose of their shot increased protection against the original coronavirus version and the Omicron variant among children in the age group. read more

It is unclear how much demand there is for the third dose in the age group. Just 28.8% of children aged 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are seen at The Michener Institute, in Toronto, Canada January 4, 2021 in this file photo. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

A meeting of outside vaccine experts on an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been scheduled for Thursday, the report said.

The FDA declined to comment, while Pfizer and BioNTech did not respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

 

Reuters source:

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/fda-authorize-pfizers-covid-booster-shot-younger-kids-soon-nyt-2022-05-16

 

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FDA declines to authorize common antidepressant as COVID treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided not to authorize the antidepressant fluvoxamine to treat COVID-19, saying the data has not shown the drug…

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FDA declines to authorize common antidepressant as COVID treatment

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(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided not to authorize the antidepressant fluvoxamine to treat COVID-19, saying that the data has not shown the drug to be an effective therapeutic for fighting the virus.

“Based on the review of available scientific evidence, the FDA has determined that the data are insufficient to conclude that fluvoxamine may be effective in the treatment of nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 to prevent progression to severe disease and/or hospitalization,” the agency said in a document published on Monday.

University of Minnesota professor Dr. David Boulware submitted the emergency use authorization request to the FDA that would have allowed doctors to prescribe fluvoxamine maleate to treat COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients.

The generic drug belongs to an old, widely-used class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.

Boulware said that his request is less urgent with the availability of drugs like Pfizer Inc’s (PFE.N) Paxlovid, but he still believes the data supports the drug’s use in some COVID patients.

“There are effective therapeutics that are available. But not everyone has access to them. Not everyone can tolerate them. Some people have contraindications,” Boulware said in an interview. “And if you go elsewhere in the world, low- and middle-income countries, they have access to no therapeutics.”

Boulware’s submission relied on data from three trials, especially a study of 1,497 non-hospitalized COVID patients in Brazil.

While the Brazilian study met its primary endpoint, showing a roughly 30% drop in hospitalizations in the group that received fluvoxamine, the FDA said there were uncertainties about the assessment, which measured reduction in emergency department visits lasting more than 6 hours.

Signage is seen outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

Boulware said FDA had used a different measure to count hospitalizations in other drug trials, including only acute care that lasted at least 24 hours.

“The standard that they were holding for fluvoxamine was a different standard than the other big pharma trials, with Paxlovid and (Merck’s) molnupiravir and the monoclonals,” he said of other authorized COVID therapeutics.

“I was really quite disappointed that they did that,” he said.

Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in New Jersey; Editing by Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

 

Reuters source:

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/fda-declines-authorize-common-antidepressant-covid-treatment-2022-05-16

 

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Spread & Containment

Coronavirus may be linked to cases of severe hepatitis in children

A chain of events possibly triggered by unrecognized infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could be causing the mysterious cases of severe hepatitis…

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Coronavirus may be linked to cases of severe hepatitis in children

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(Reuters) – The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review.

SARS-CoV-2 could be at root of mysterious hepatitis in kids

A chain of events possibly triggered by unrecognized infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could be causing the mysterious cases of severe hepatitis reported in hundreds of young children around the world, researchers suggest.

Children with COVID-19 are at significantly increased risk for liver dysfunction afterward, according to a report posted on Saturday on medRxiv ahead of peer review. But most of the children with acute hepatitis – which is generally rare in that age group – do not report a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Instead, the majority have been found to be infected with an adenovirus called 41F, which is not known to attack the liver. It is possible that the affected children, many of whom are too young to be vaccinated, may have had mild or asymptomatic COVID infections that went unnoticed, a separate team of researchers suggest in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology. If that were true, they theorize, then lingering particles of the coronavirus in the gastrointestinal tract in these children could be priming the immune system to over-react to adenovirus-41F with high amounts of inflammatory proteins that ultimately damage the liver.

A firefighter from the Marins-Pompiers of Marseille (Marseille Naval Fire Battalion) administers a nasal swab to a child at a testing site for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Marseille, France, September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

“We suggest that children with acute hepatitis be investigated for SARS-CoV-2 persistence in stool” and for other signals that the liver damage is happening because the spike protein of the coronavirus is a “superantigen” that over-sensitizes the immune system, they said.

Face-down position unhelpful for awake patients

For hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are breathing on their own but with supplemental oxygen, lying face down might not help prevent them from eventually needing mechanical ventilation, according to a new study.

In the study, 400 patients were randomly assigned to usual care or to standard care plus intermittently lying on their stomach, a position known to improve the course of illness in sedated patients on mechanical ventilators. Over the next 30 days, 34.1% in the prone-positioning group and 40.5% in the usual-care group needed to be intubated and put on a ventilator, a difference that was not statistically significant. There might have been a reduction in the risk for intubation with prone positioning among some of the patients, researchers said on Monday in JAMA, but they could not confirm it statistically from their data. The average duration of prone positioning per day was roughly five hours, less than the target of eight to 10 hours per day.

“Long hours of awake prone positioning are challenging and highly influenced by patient comfort and preference,” the researchers said. “The most common reason for interruption of prone positioning was patient request, which might have been related to overall subjective improvement or related to discomfort from prone positioning.”

Click for a Reuters graphic on vaccines in development.

Reporting by Nancy Lapid and Megan Brooks; Editing by Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

 

Reuters source:

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/coronavirus-may-be-linked-cases-severe-hepatitis-children-2022-05-16

 

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