Fri Oct 13 01:00:00 CDT 2017

Consensus Actual Previous
Month over Month 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Year over Year 1.8% 1.8% 1.8%

Consumer prices were unrevised in the final report for September. The headline CPI edged 0.1 percent higher on the month for a 1.8 percent annual inflation rate, unchanged from its final August outturn and matching its highest mark since April.

The final HICP was similarly unchanged from its flash estimate and so still shows a flat monthly reading and a 1.8 percent yearly rate, also equalling its final August outcome.

The minor increase in CPI versus August masked a hefty seasonal 6.2 percent jump in clothing prices and a 4.3 percent bounce in the cost of footwear. Energy (1.2 percent) provided a boost too as did food (0.6 percent). However, package holidays (minus 11.6 percent) registered their usual seasonal decline. As a result, core prices (excluding food and energy) softened a tick on the month and, at a 1.5 percent rate, on the year as well.

Even so, underlying inflation is still trending up and with business surveys highlighting increasing cost pressures, should continue to do so into 2018.

The consumer price index (CPI) is a measure of the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. Monthly and annual changes in the CPI provide widely used measures of inflation. A provisional estimate, with limited detail, is released about two weeks before the final data are reported.

The consumer price index is the most widely followed indicator of inflation. An investor who understands how inflation influences the markets will benefit over those investors that do not understand the impact. In countries such as Germany where monetary policy decisions rest on the central bank's inflation target, the rate of inflation directly affects all interest rates charged to business and the consumer. As a member of the European Monetary Union, Germany's interest rates are set by the European Central Bank.

Germany like other EMU countries has both a national CPI and a harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP). The HICP is calculated to give a comparable inflation measure for the EMU. Components and weights within the national CPI vary from other countries, reflecting national idiosyncrasies. The preliminary release is based on key state numbers which are released prior to the national estimate. The states include North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Saxony, Hesse, Bavaria and Brandenburg. The release date is not announced in advance but the preliminary estimate of the CPI follows in the same day after the last of state releases. The data are revised about two weeks after preliminary release.

Inflation is an increase in the overall prices of goods and services. The relationship between inflation and interest rates is the key to understanding how indicators such as the CPI influence the markets - and your investments. As the rate of inflation changes and as expectations on inflation change, the markets adjust interest rates. The effect ripples across stocks, bonds, commodities, and your portfolio, often in a dramatic fashion.

By tracking inflation, whether high or low, rising or falling, investors can anticipate how different types of investments will perform. Over the long run, the bond market will rally (fall) when increases in the CPI are small (large). The equity market rallies with the bond market because low inflation promises low interest rates and is good for profits.