This picture shows the housing component of inflation (blue line), compared to house price changes (red line). As housing prices went through their bubble, the effect on CPI didn’t budge much from 3%, whereas the recent crash brought it down to zero. See Dr.HousingBubble for more.
Things like oil, corn, and gold have skyrocket recently, but I’m told that things like clothing, ‘food away from home’ and ‘shelter’ are keeping inflation low. Perhaps. But I’m with Bill Gross, who highlights the gov’t dilemma given its true debt-to-GDP ratio is 500%:
Unless entitlements are substantially reformed, I am confident that this country will default on its debt; not in conventional ways, but by picking the pocket of savers via a combination of less observable, yet historically verifiable policies–inflation, currency devaluation and low to negative real interest rates.