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Wall Street’s indexes rallied Tuesday morning, led by the Nasdaq, which jumped over 3% after consumer prices rose less than expected and raised hope that the Federal Reserve could slow its pace of rate hikes.But the fade in the indexes tells the bigger story..
The moment the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was released by the Commerce Department at 7.7% the market cheered.All indexes opened up big and kept going higher.The NASDAQ Composite finished up over 7%, its best “CPI Day” run ever, and one of its largest one-day moves ever.
If Mark Twain were alive today, he'd probably say that there are "lies, damned lies, and inflation statistics."
There just aren't many more important numbers that so many depend on and that are so regularly and maliciously manipulated.
You see, wages, pensions, and Social Security are all dependent in some measure on the Consumer Price Index. It affects the income of some 80 million Americans through contracts or indexation.
In his recent State of the Union Address, President Obama unveiled something new: a retirement savings account to "help" Americans build a nest egg, coining it the "MyRA."
Something immediately felt wrong about the proposal... but I couldn't put my finger on it.
So I researched the new MyRA and found details to help you understand just how it works.
On August 2, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report the official unemployment rate. But this number doesn't tell the accurate story of the jobs picture here in the United States.
That's usually the case with government-produced economic indicators. Whatever the government figure will say, it will not truly reflect reality. Simply put, it's a rigged number.
When it comes to cheating the numbers, nobody does it better than Uncle Sam.
U.S. investors rely on accurate government data in order to make investment decisions in various sectors of the economy.
But what if these figures reflected negative headlines on a near-constant basis? It wouldn't instill much confidence. And it certainly would cost a lot of people in Washington their jobs.
That's why Uncle Sam plays games with the numbers and presents a far rosier picture of the world to low-information voters and investors. But we're paying attention here at Money Morning, and that's why we're holding a spotlight on the fuzzy math in Washington.
Counting down, here are the four most rigged government statistics in America today:
The consumer price index (CPI) rose for the first time in four months in July, signaling higher prices in some sectors and easing concerns that a slowdown would sink the U.S. economy into deflation. Meanwhile, the government released a string of weak economic reports that point to slower economic growth.
The consumer price gauge increased 0.3%, the most in a year, outpacing the 0.2% gain projected by the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the Labor Department showed Friday. The so-called core rate favored by government economists, which excludes volatile food and fuel costs, met expectations, increasing 0.1%.
And yet the consumer price index (CPI) statistics remain quiet - not giving ammunition to the deflationary camp, but making "inflationists" look silly, as well. Now, however, it is becoming obvious that inflation will soon arrive. But this time it is sneaking in through the back door - courtesy of our emerging-market trading partners.
Fortunately, there are some very clear steps that investors can take to protect themselves from this expected inflationary surge.