Григорий Громов (abcdefgh) wrote,
Григорий Громов
abcdefgh

"Из всех искусств для нас важнейшим является кино"

(с) В.И.Л-н & Mike M.

Все так. Само по себе оно конечно верно - кто бы спорил, не подумайте что решил по общей моде заняться тут ревизией незыблимых установок великих классиков - но и однако не только.

Вот еще искусство сочинять заголовки к сообщениям на новостной ленте тоже вышепомянутому М. и Л. кину по степени важности не уступает давно уже. Ни раз уже приводил тут тому примеры и вот очередной.

Nicholas Riccardi - штатный автор ЛА Таймс - написал заметку, которую по причине ее сенсационного заголовка (а также дополнительно углубляющего градус драматизму первого абзаца-аннотации), не говоря уже об азартно вкусной для леволиберальной прессы темы самой по себе тут же расхватали едва ли не все новостные ленты ведущих инфагенств мира:
    Wages Lagging Behind Prices
    For the first time in 14 years, the American workforce has in effect gotten an across-the-board pay cut. The growth in wages in 2004 and the first two months of this year trailed inflation, compounding the squeeze from higher housing, energy and other costs...

    This is the first time that salaries have increased more slowly than prices since the 1990-91 recession. Though salary growth has been relatively sluggish since the 2001 downturn, inflation also had stayed relatively subdued until last year, when the consumer price index rose 2.7%. But wages rose only 2.5%.

    The effective 0.2-percentage-point erosion in workers' living standards occurred while the economy expanded at a healthy 4%, better than the 3% historical average.

    Meanwhile, corporate profits hit record highs as companies got more productivity out of workers while keeping pay increases down. Some see climbing profits and stagnant wages as not only unfair but also ultimately unsustainable. "Those that are baking the larger pie ought to see their slices expanding," said Jared Bernstein, an economist with the liberal Economic Policy Institute in Washington.
Текст вышеприведенный даже и нет видимо необходимости переводить. Он является типовой для любого леволиберальных взглядов "экономиста" - вовсе не только из liberal Economic Policy Institute in Washington - иллюстрацией бессмертной теории Карла сами понимаете что Маркса о подлой приьбавочной стоимости которую утаивают капиталисты от наемых работников. Плотят им меньше, а потмоу и их прибыли растет свиньи они такие жадные - вот. КАк об том поясняет "штатный писатель ЛА Таймс", Meanwhile, corporate profits hit record highs as companies got more productivity out of workers while keeping pay increases down.

В итоге чего получается (подтекст: предупреждали вас мудаков, что взвоете, если Кери не выберите, вот и смотрите чего получается) - рост цен впервые за 14 лет (после рецессии 1991г) обогнал на 0,2% рост зарплаты. Далее эта цифирь разжовывается неполнятливому если такой попадется читателю на бытовых примерах. Беседут с рядовым лосанжелосцем, который все подтверждает - так и есть, зарплата у него осталась как тот год $24.50 в час, а цену на квартиру со вчерась опять повысили - куда деваться пролетарию киношного (в Голливуде он работает) труда:
    The 49-year-old film-set laborer had to ditch his $1,100-a-month Hollywood apartment because his rent kept rising while his pay of $24.50 an hour stayed flat.
И ровно в таком духе продолжаются пространные рассуждения до самого конца статьи, где вскользь как о чем то второстепенном упоминается, что пакет зарплаты практически любого работника в Америке - в этом отношении как правило все равно частного или госсектора - не ограничивается только номиналом ежемесячно выдаваемой, согласно контракту найма, получки - so called "paycheck". Заметную и постоянно растущую долю общей зарплаты составляют разного рода benefit, в том числе - но не только - оплата расходов по здравоохранению сотрудников. Так вот эти расходы предпринимателей за все тот же обсуждаемый год выросли на 7%:
    Although pay rose only about 2.4% last year, benefit costs jumped almost 7%.
Однако, следует отметить, кроме того, что выше обсуждадась лишь одна компонента сравниваемых автором заметки роста цен и зарплаты - сама по себе зарплата. Однако так же обходиться автор статьи и с параметром роста цен.

Сначала он до сыта обыгрывает помянутые выше сопоставления и только в опять же в самом конце упоминает, что заметную если не основную компоненту усредненного роста цен (той самой - в любой такого рода статистике - "средней температуре по больнице") составляет рост цен на вновь приобретаемые - не от бедности и нищеты то уж точно - дома. Цена на которые выросла в Калифорнии более чем на 20%, а в целом по стране на 9%.

Рост цен при чем - ранее отмечал - является именно что результатом превышения спроса над предлождением, что свидетельствует вовсе не об ухудшении материального положения усредненных наемных работников в Америке. Не буржуи потому как с тремя подбородками - прожирающими в МакДональдсе прибавочную стоимость - и пр. марксовыми "капиталистами" создают тот массовый спрос на дома.

Наконец на этот же год пришелся и очередной бросок цен на горючее - который внес весомый вклад в общий рост индекса цен, так как входит как элемент цены транспортировки продукта практически в любой товар или услугу - в причине котрого опять же заметную часть составляет "жировая прослойка" порочных привычек среднего американца к наиболее прожорливым на бензин машинам (SUV, легковые "грузовики" и пр. ), спрос на которые у все того же среднего американца увы все еще не падает.

И так при чем всегда - практически любого дня новостной поток если глянуть - независимо по внешней политике или внутренней - такого рода фирменно либерального пера "лукавые заметки". Типовой - в каком то смысле давно уже стандартный - "левый" во всех смыслах этого слова стиль.

Ни раз в этой связи отмечал, что левым либералом в Америке может быть - в идеолого-политическом смысле этого слова и только, разумеется - либо дурак, либо жулик. Третьего в их положении теоретически не может быть, да никто и не видел такого чуда ни разу.

Еще раз - речь идет о политической дурости, которая требуется чтобы вестись на кериева разлива посулы, а вовсе не бытового плана глупость имеется в виду. Большое число самых умных во всем остальном - в быту совершенно безупречных можно при желани насчитать миллионы членов демпартии, в науке хоть того же Холмски взять или скажем Сороса в финансовом мире, да и много иных в бизнесе и пр. - людей читают как откровения приведенного выше типа "новости" и демонстрируют тем самым ровно тот градус политической глупости, который требуется чтобы голосовать здесь в США за левых.

Аналогичным образом и жуликами с очевидностью являются те, кто сочиняет приведенного типа "лукавые новости", или демонстрирует иные мехнизмы нечестного практически в 100 процентах случаев у левых либералов ведения полемики. При том что все эти люди вовсе не являются жуликами в бытовом смысле - не крадут скажем серебряные ложки в гостях, да и вообще ничем остальным по параметру личного поведения вне круга политических дискуссий обычно в плохую сторону как правило не выделяются. Необходимость - именно что суровая безисходно необходимость - вынуждает их жульничать при попытках идеологически обосновать занимаемую левую позицию.

Занимают то они ее - эту позицию - по религиозным соображениям, но сказать такого - как скажем могли бы про то сообщить верующие традиционных конфессий - не могут. Не могут они, как правило - иногда случается, но редко - сообщить что требуется им с единомышленниками всего лишь вера в леволиберальные догматы.

Но и однако как только пытаются делать невозможное - предпринимают попытки как-то логически обосновать истоки своей веры - то и естественным образом оказываются перед необходимостью врать своим единоверцам приведенным выше или иным каким образом. В том и была к примеру причина религиозного экстаза левых либералов на фильмах Мура, что он показывает им те самые чудеса умело приготовленных доказательств их правоты, кторых в реальном мире совсем не просто оказывается - см. выше тому пример - убедительно продемонстрировать даже самым искуссным из их жрецов.

И только волшебная сила искусства - кино, как правило, это оказывается - еще иногда спасает левых умельцев от безисходной необходимости накручивать виток за витком все время одного и того же сорта лапши "статистику". Только кино им потому и остается - прозорливо прав был ВИЛ, всам деле выясняется всякий раз что оно не подведет - но и ничего видимо теперь уже кроме.



Если кому-то покажется интересным вникать в подробности типового сюжета новостного кина студии "ЛА Таймс" - по схеме приведенного выше "статистического анализа" текущего состояния американской экономики, то для таких вдумчивых читателей сохраняю ниже оба источника: полностью вышецитированную статью и официальные данные статистики по состоянию на Февраль-05, по котрой собственно только и могла быть написана вышепомянутая статья, так как более поздних кажется еще не было:


Consumer Price Index Summary
FOR TECHNICAL INFORMATION:
Patrick C. Jackman (202) 691-7000 USDL-05-484
CPI QUICKLINE: (202) 691-6994 TRANSMISSION OF
FOR CURRENT AND HISTORICAL MATERIAL IN THIS
INFORMATION: (202) 691-5200 RELEASE IS EMBARGOED
MEDIA CONTACT: (202) 691-5902 UNTIL 8:30 A.M. (EST)
INTERNET ADDRESS: Wednesday, March 23, 2005
http://www.bls.gov/cpi/

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX: FEBRUARY 2005

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased
0.6 percent in February, before seasonal adjustment, the Bureau of Labor
Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The February
level of 191.8 (1982-84=100) was 3.0 percent higher than in February 2004.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers
(CPI-W) increased 0.5 percent in February, prior to seasonal adjustment.
The February level of 187.3 (1982-84=100) was 3.0 percent higher than in
February 2004.

The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U)
increased 0.5 percent in February on a not seasonally adjusted basis. The
February level of 111.7 (December 1999=100) was 2.6 percent higher than in
February 2004. Please note that the indexes for the post-2003 period are
subject to revision.

CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U)

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI-U advanced 0.4 percent in
February, following a 0.1 percent increase in January. The energy index,
which registered substantial declines in the preceding two months,
increased 2.0 percent in February, accounting for virtually all the
acceleration in the overall CPI-U. Within energy, the index for petroleum-
based energy increased 3.1 percent and the index for energy services rose
0.8 percent. The food index increased 0.1 percent in February, the same
as in January. A 0.2 percent decrease in the index for food at home was
more than offset by a 0.3 percent increase in the index for food away from
home. The index for all items less food and energy, which increased 0.2
percent in each of the preceding four months, advanced 0.3 percent in
February. Larger increases in the indexes for shelter and medical care
more than offset a smaller rise in the index for new vehicles and a
decline in the index for apparel.


Table A. Percent changes in CPI for Urban Consumers (CPI-U)
Seasonally adjusted Un-
Compound adjusted
Expenditure Changes from preceding month annual rate 12-mos.
Category 2004 2005 3-mos. ended ended
Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Feb.'05 Feb.'05
All Items .1 .2 .6 .3 .0 .1 .4 1.7 3.0
Food and beverages .0 .0 .5 .3 .0 .1 .1 .6 2.6
Housing .1 .3 .2 .3 .2 .1 .4 2.7 3.0
Apparel -.3 .0 .0 .2 -.4 .3 -.2 -1.3 .1
Transportation -.3 .2 2.1 .2 -.7 -.2 .8 -.2 4.6
Medical care .3 .3 .4 .3 .3 .4 .6 5.2 4.3
Recreation -.2 .2 .1 .1 .0 .1 -.2 -.4 .6
Education and
communication .0 .4 -.2 .4 .1 .1 .3 1.8 1.4
Other goods and
services .2 .2 .2 .1 .4 .4 .3 4.4 2.8
Special indexes:
Energy -.3 -.3 4.0 1.0 -1.3 -1.1 2.0 -2.0 10.4
Food .0 -.1 .6 .3 .0 .1 .1 .6 2.6
All items less
food and energy .1 .3 .2 .2 .2 .2 .3 2.4 2.4


The food and beverages index rose 0.1 percent in February. The index
for food at home decreased for the third consecutive month--down 0.2
percent in February
. Four of the six major grocery store food groups
registered declines in February. The index for fruits and vegetables
declined for the third consecutive month--down 0.7 percent in February.
Within the fruits and vegetables group, the index for fresh fruits
declined 1.7 percent while the index for fresh vegetables rose 0.3
percent. (Prior to seasonal adjustment, fresh fruit and fresh vegetable
prices declined 5.2 and 2.9 percent, respectively.) The index for
processed fruits and vegetables decreased 0.6 percent. The index for
dairy products, which turned up in January after declining in each of the
preceding six months, declined 0.8 percent in February. Prices for fresh
whole milk, for cheese, and for ice cream each declined. The indexes for
other food at home and for nonalcoholic beverages declined 0.2 and 0.1
percent, respectively. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
increased 0.3 percent in February. Price increases for beef and for pork-
-up 1.5 and 0.4 percent, respectively--were partially offset by price
declines for poultry and for fish and seafood--down 1.0 and 1.3 percent,
respectively. The index for cereals and bakery products rose 0.1 percent.
The other two components of the food and beverages index--food away from
home and alcoholic beverages--increased 0.3 and 0.5 percent, respectively.

The index for housing increased 0.4 percent in February, following a
0.1 percent rise in January. The index for shelter increased 0.3 percent
in February after advancing 0.2 percent in each of the preceding two
months. Within shelter, the indexes for rent and for owners' equivalent
rent each increased 0.2 percent, and the index for lodging away from home
rose 1.1 percent. (Prior to seasonal adjustment, the index for lodging
away from home increased 5.1 percent.) The index for fuels and
utilities, which declined 0.1 percent in January, increased 0.8 percent in
February. The index for fuel oil, which declined sharply in each of the
preceding two months, rose 2.4 percent in February. The index for energy
services rose 0.8 percent, as a 2.5 percent increase in the index for
natural gas more than offset a 0.1 percent decrease in the index for
electricity. (Prior to seasonal adjustment, prices for fuel oil rose 5.6
percent and charges for electricity rose 0.1 percent, while charges for
natural gas declined 3.0 percent.) The index for household furnishings
and operations, which rose 0.1 percent in January, declined 0.2 percent in
February, reflecting price declines for window coverings and for furniture
and bedding.

The transportation index, which declined in each of the preceding two
months, turned up in February, reflecting a 3.2 percent increase in the
index for motor fuel. Gasoline prices, which had declined in six of the
last seven months, rose 5.0 percent in February to a level 5.4 percent
below their peak level of June 2004. The index for new vehicles
increased for the fifth consecutive month--up 0.1 percent in February.
(As of February, about 85 percent of the new vehicle sample was
represented by 2005 models. The 2005 models will continue to be phased
in, with appropriate adjustments for quality change, over the next several
months as they replace old models at dealerships.) The index for used
cars and trucks increased 0.1 percent in February. The index for public
transportation turned up in February, as a 1.5 percent increase in airline
fares more than offset a decline in the index for other intercity
transportation.

The index for apparel fell 0.2 percent in February, following a 0.3
percent increase in January. (Prior to seasonal adjustment, apparel
prices rose 2.2 percent, reflecting the introduction of spring-summer
wear. Prices for women's apparel registered the largest advance--up 4.5
percent.)

Medical care costs rose 0.6 percent in February and are 4.3 percent
higher than a year ago. The index for medical care commodities--
prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and medical supplies--increased
0.4 percent. The index for medical care services rose 0.6 percent in
February. The indexes for professional services and for hospital and
related services each increased 0.7 percent.

The index for recreation decreased 0.2 percent in February, largely
reflecting a 0.5 percent decline in the index for video and audio. Prices
for televisions declined 1.1 percent in February and are 11.7 percent
lower than a year ago.

The index for education and communication increased 0.3 percent in
February. Educational costs increased 0.5 percent, while communication
costs were unchanged. Within the latter group, an increase in the index
for telephone services--up 0.3 percent, reflecting an increase in charges
for local calls--was offset by declines in the indexes for personal
computers and peripheral equipment, for computer software and accessories,
for internet services, for telephone hardware, calculators, and other
consumer information items, and for delivery services.

The index for other goods and services increased 0.3 percent in
February. The index for tobacco and smoking products rose 0.4 percent,
following a 1.9 percent increase in January.

CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W)

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and
Clerical Workers increased 0.4 percent in February.


Table B. Percent changes in CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical
Workers (CPI-W)
Seasonally adjusted Un-
Compound adjusted
Expenditure Changes from preceding month annual rate 12-mos.
Category 2004 2005 3-mos. ended ended
Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Feb.'05 Feb.'05
All Items .1 .2 .6 .3 -.1 .1 .4 1.7 3.0
Food and beverages .1 -.1 .5 .3 .0 .1 .1 .4 2.6
Housing .2 .2 .2 .3 .2 .2 .4 3.0 3.0
Apparel -.3 .1 .0 .2 -.3 .5 -.1 .3 .3
Transportation -.2 .4 2.2 .1 -.5 -.3 .8 -.2 5.0
Medical care .3 .4 .3 .3 .3 .3 .6 5.2 4.4
Recreation -.1 .1 .1 .1 -.1 .2 -.2 -.4 .3
Education and
communication -.1 .4 -.3 .3 .1 .1 .3 1.8 .6
Other goods and
services .2 .2 .1 .2 .4 .5 .4 5.4 3.0
Special indexes
Energy -.5 -.3 4.2 .7 -1.3 -1.3 2.0 -2.2 10.6
Food .0 -.1 .6 .3 .0 .1 .1 .4 2.6
All items less
food and energy .1 .3 .2 .2 .2 .2 .3 2.5 2.3


Consumer Price Index data for March are scheduled for release on
Wednesday, April 20, 2005, at 8:30 A.M. (EDT).


_________________________________________________________________________________


Facilities for Sensory Impaired

Information from this release will be made available to sensory
impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200, Federal
Relay Services: 1-800-877-8339. For a recorded message of Summary CPI
data, call (202) 691-5200.

_________________________________________________________________________________


Brief Explanation of the CPI

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in
prices over time of goods and services purchased by households. The
Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups: (1)
the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which covers
households of wage earners and clerical workers that comprise
approximately 32 percent of the total population and (2) the CPI for All
Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and the Chained CPI for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-
U), which cover approximately 87 percent of the total population and
include in addition to wage earners and clerical worker households, groups
such as professional, managerial, and technical workers, the self-
employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, and retirees and others not
in the labor force.

The CPIs are based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels,
transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs,
and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living.
Prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country from about
50,000 housing units and approximately 23,000 retail establishments-
department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other
types of stores and service establishments. All taxes directly associated
with the purchase and use of items are included in the index. Prices of
fuels and a few other items are obtained every month in all 87 locations.
Prices of most other commodities and services are collected every month in
the three largest geographic areas and every other month in other areas.
Prices of most goods and services are obtained by personal visits or
telephone calls of the Bureau's trained representatives.

In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each
location are averaged together with weights, which represent their
importance in the spending of the appropriate population group. Local
data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average. For the CPI-U and
CPI-W separate indexes are also published by size of city, by region of
the country, for cross-classifications of regions and population-size
classes, and for 27 local areas. Area indexes do not measure differences
in the level of prices among cities; they only measure the average change
in prices for each area since the base period. For the C-CPI-U data are
issued only at the national level. It is important to note that the CPI-U
and CPI-W are considered final when released, but the C-CPI-U is issued in
preliminary form and subject to two annual revisions.

The index measures price change from a designed reference date. For
the CPI-U and the CPI-W the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100.0. The
reference base for the C-CPI-U is December 1999 equals 100.
An increase of 16.5 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown
as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the
price of a base period market basket of goods and services in the CPI has
risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65.

For further details visit the CPI home page on the Internet at
http://www.bls.gov/cpi/ or contact our CPI Information and Analysis
Section on (202) 691-7000.

________________________________________________________________________________


Calculating Index Changes

Movements of the indexes from one month to another are
usually expressed as percent changes rather than changes in index
points, because index point changes are affected by the level of
the index in relation to its base period while percent changes are
not. The example below illustrates the computation of index point
and percent changes.

Percent changes for 3-month and 6-month periods are expressed
as annual rates and are computed according to the standard formula
for compound growth rates. These data indicate what the percent
change would be if the current rate were maintained for a 12-month
period.


Index Point Change

CPI 115.7
Less previous index 111.2
Equals index point change 4.5


Percent Change

Index point difference 4.5
Divided by the previous index 111.2
Equals 0.040
Results multiplied by one hundred 0.040 x 100
Equals percent change 4.0

__________________________________________________________________________


Regions Defined

The states in the four regions shown in Tables 3 and 6 are listed below.

The Northeast--Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York,
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The Midwest--Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The South--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South
Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of
Columbia.

The West--Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana,
Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

__________________________________________________________________________


A Note on Seasonally Adjusted and Unadjusted Data

Because price data are used for different purposes by different groups,
the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes seasonally adjusted as well as
unadjusted changes each month.

For analyzing general price trends in the economy, seasonally adjusted
changes are usually preferred since they eliminate the effect of changes
that normally occur at the same time and in about the same magnitude every
year--such as price movements resulting from changing climatic conditions,
production cycles, model changeovers, holidays, and sales.

The unadjusted data are of primary interest to consumers concerned about
the prices they actually pay. Unadjusted data also are used extensively
for escalation purposes. Many collective bargaining contract agreements
and pension plans, for example, tie compensation changes to the Consumer
Price Index unadjusted for seasonal variation.

Seasonal factors used in computing the seasonally adjusted indexes are
derived by the X-12-ARIMA Seasonal Adjustment Method. Seasonally adjusted
indexes and seasonal factors are computed annually. Each year, the last 5
years of seasonally adjusted data are revised. Data from January 2000
through December 2004 were replaced in January 2005. Exceptions to the
usual revision schedule were: the updated seasonal data at the end of 1977
replaced data from 1967 through 1977; and, in January 2002, dependently
seasonally adjusted series were revised for January 1987-December 2001 as
a result of a change in the aggregation weights for dependently adjusted
series. For further information, please see "Aggregation of Dependently
Adjusted Seasonally Adjusted Series," in the October 2001 issue of the CPI
Detailed Report.

The seasonal movement of All items and 54 other aggregations is derived
by combining the seasonal movement of 73 selected components. Each year
the seasonal status of every series is reevaluated based upon certain
statistical criteria. If any of the 73 components change their seasonal
adjustment status from seasonally adjusted to not seasonally adjusted, not
seasonally adjusted data will be used for the last 5 years, but the
seasonally adjusted indexes will be used before that period. Note: 43 of
the 73 components are seasonally adjusted for 2005.

Seasonally adjusted data, including the All items index levels, are
subject to revision for up to five years after their original release.
For this reason, BLS advises against the use of these data in escalation
agreements.

Effective with the calculation of the seasonal factors for 1990,
the Bureau of Labor Statistics has used an enhanced seasonal adjustment
procedure called Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment for some CPI
series. Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment allows for better
estimates of seasonally adjusted data. Extreme values and/or sharp
movements which might distort the seasonal pattern are estimated and
removed from the data prior to calculation of seasonal factors. Beginning
with the calculation of seasonal factors for 1996, X-12-ARIMA software was
used for Intervention Analysis Seasonal Adjustment.

For the fuel oil, utility (piped) gas, motor fuels, and educational
books and supplies indexes, this procedure was used to offset the effects
that extreme price volatility would otherwise have had on the estimates of
seasonally adjusted data for those series. For the Nonalcoholic
beverages index, the procedure was used to offset the effects of labor and
supply problems for coffee. The procedure was used to account for unusual
butter fat supply reductions, changes in milk supply, and large swings in
soybean oil inventories affecting the Fats and oils series. For Dairy
products, it mitigated the effects of significant changes in milk, butter
and cheese production levels. For Fresh vegetable series, the method was
used to account for the effects of hurricane-related disruptions. For
Electricity, it was used to offset an increase in demand due to warmer
than expected weather, increased rates to conserve supplies, and declining
natural gas inventories. For new vehicle series, the procedure was used
to offset the effects of a model changeover combined with financing
incentives.

For additional information on seasonal adjustment in the CPI,
please write to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Consumer
Prices and Price Indexes, Washington, DC 20212 or contact Daniel Chow on
(202) 691-6968 by e-mail at Chow.Daniel@bls.gov. If you have general
questions about the CPI, please call our information staff at (202) 691-
7000.

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U. S. City Average, by expenditure category and commodity and service group
Table 2. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Seasonally adjusted U. S. City Average, by expenditure category and commodity and service group
Table 3. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Selected areas, all items index
Table 4. Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W): U. S. City Average, by expenditure category and commodity and service group
Table 5. Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W): Seasonally adjusted U. S. City Average, by expenditure category and commodity and service group
Table 6. Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W): Selected areas, all items index
Table 7. Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U): U.S. city average, by expenditure category and commodity and service group



Wages Lagging Behind Prices
Mon Apr 11, 7:55 AM ET Top Stories - Los Angeles Times
By Nicholas Riccardi Times Staff Writer

For the first time in 14 years, the American workforce has in effect gotten an across-the-board pay cut.

The growth in wages in 2004 and the first two months of this year trailed inflation, compounding the squeeze from higher housing, energy and other costs.

The result is that people like Victor Romero are finding themselves falling behind.

The 49-year-old film-set laborer had to ditch his $1,100-a-month Hollywood apartment because his rent kept rising while his pay of $24.50 an hour stayed flat.

"There's no such thing as raises anymore," Romero said.

This is the first time that salaries have increased more slowly than prices since the 1990-91 recession. Though salary growth has been relatively sluggish since the 2001 downturn, inflation also had stayed relatively subdued until last year, when the consumer price index rose 2.7%. But wages rose only 2.5%.

The effective 0.2-percentage-point erosion in workers' living standards occurred while the economy expanded at a healthy 4%, better than the 3% historical average.

Meanwhile, corporate profits hit record highs as companies got more productivity out of workers while keeping pay increases down.

Some see climbing profits and stagnant wages as not only unfair but also ultimately unsustainable. "Those that are baking the larger pie ought to see their slices expanding," said Jared Bernstein, an economist with the liberal Economic Policy Institute in Washington.

But higher wages could hurt the economy by stoking inflation further. Employers might pass the costs on to consumers in higher prices, and that in turn might prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more aggressively, possibly slowing the recovery or even triggering a recession.

For now, workers' wallets are being pummeled by something of a perfect storm of economic forces: a weak job market, rising health insurance premiums and other inflationary pressures.

The biggest factor is the slack employment market, which means there is little pressure on businesses to boost pay. "They take advantage of you because there's no work and anyone will work for anything," Romero said.

Although the unemployment rate has dropped to a relatively low 5.2%, that figure doesn't count the hundreds of thousands of jobless people who've given up their searches and dropped out of the labor market at a greater rate than anytime since 1988. At the same time, the cost of health premiums has skyrocketed, eating into the pool of corporate cash set aside for raises. Although pay rose only about 2.4% last year, benefit costs jumped almost 7%.

With benefits factored in, workers' total compensation did outpace inflation in 2004, even if they didn't see it in their paychecks. But employers also are requiring workers to pay a greater share of their premiums.

"Healthcare has eroded the wage base," said Janemarie Mulvey, chief economist with the Employment Policy Foundation, a business-funded think tank in Washington.

"In the long run, we can't continue like this. If healthcare keeps crowding out wages forever, something's got to give."

The squeeze is especially intense on the 47% of the workforce whose employers don't directly provide their health insurance. For lower-income workers, who are more likely to be uninsured, the falling value of their wages is even more serious because they're more likely to live paycheck to paycheck. And rising food and energy prices take a proportionately higher toll on the poor than on the rich.

Historically, periods when wage growth is outpaced by inflation rarely last more than 18 months. That's partly because businesses don't want their employees' living standards to fall, as that injures morale, said Trewman Bewley, a Yale University economist who has studied wage activity during economic downturns.

Many economists figure it's only a matter of time until workers can pry more money out of their employers to catch up to inflation again. If economic growth remains robust, as many forecasters predict, workers may gain greater leverage to negotiate wage hikes.

"Chances are that those workers that have problems getting by because of higher fuel prices will probably tell their employers, 'I can't make it,' " said John Lonski, chief economist at Moody's Investors Service.

That hasn't played out for Brian Chartier. The 29-year-old Glendale resident handles inventory for a Los Angeles manufacturing company. No one there, he said, has gotten a raise in two years.

"They're able to do this and I haven't quit, because where am I going to go?" he said. "There are no jobs."

While his salary remained flat, rising healthcare premiums kept eating up more and more of Chartier's take-home pay, so he dropped out of his employer's insurance program. His rent is also climbing.

As Chartier loaded bags of groceries into his Honda Civic last week, he boasted that they were full of bargains. "I don't get a single thing that's not on sale," Chartier said. "I can't afford to anymore."

Despite the failure of their wages to keep pace with inflation, American consumers have kept shopping. Consumer spending has continued to rise. Analysts say that's partly because some shoppers are thinking less about their paychecks and more about their biggest asset: their homes.

Home prices rose 21.1% in Southern California and 9% nationwide from February 2004 to February 2005, sheltering consumers, and the economy, from much of the pinch of higher prices.

"There's been a wealth effect afoot throughout much of the recession and the recovery," said Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute, "because no matter what people's incomes were doing, their wealth was improving — their biggest assets, their homes, were accruing."

As inflation sparks higher interest rates, most economists expect the housing market to cool, making shoppers more dependent on their paychecks. And even those who have seen their paper wealth rise phenomenally aren't happy about rising costs and stagnant pay.

Corina Swatz has seen the value of her Silver Lake home triple in about a decade. But neither she nor her husband has gotten a raise in more than a year. Meanwhile, gas prices have forced them to shell out $55 to fill the tank of their Chevy Tahoe.

"I used to spend $600 a month [on groceries]. Now I spend $800," Swatz, a mother of two, said as she made her weekly Costco run last week. The increased value of her home gives her only so much solace. "We're hanging in there." [cравните это утверждение ЛА Таймс с приведеннывми выше данными официальной статистики: food at home decreased for the third consecutive month--down 0.2
percent in February
.
]

The danger is that people like Swatz, despite their home equity cushion, may pull the rug out from under the economic expansion by reining in their spending.

That's what Gabriel Torres has done. The 56-year-old cook, who lives in Hollywood, hasn't gotten a raise in years but pays ever-higher prices to fill his Nissan Xterra. He and his wife have come up with a solution: Cut down on driving.

"We don't go out much," Torres said. "We used to. But now we only drive when we really have to."
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2026&e=8&u=/latimests/wageslaggingbehindprices
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