Fake CPI Report: Leaked 10.2% Inflation Rumor Scares Consumers — Is the Real Number Any Better?

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Inflation is very real (and currently very high), but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said that a fake version of its Consumer Price Index (CPI) report has been circulating.

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“We’re aware of a fake CPI release image circulating on Twitter. It is a fake. Stay tuned for the real CPI release tomorrow at 8:30 AM ET,” the BLS tweeted on July 12.

Bloomberg reports that stocks plunged to session lows around the time the fake report began circulating on social media platforms.

The fake report that circulated on July 12 attempted to replicate the formatting of real CPI reports but contained several indications that it was a forgery, including a chart whose numbers failed to match the text, Bloomberg detailed. The fake CPI numbers claimed inflation reached 10.2% in June, per the Financial Times.

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The BLS released the real report on July 13, showing that inflation not only continued to rise in June, but that the data was even worse than expected by many. The all-items index increased 9.1% for the 12 months ending June, a new 41-year high. The increase was broad-based, with the indexes for gasoline, shelter and food being the largest contributors.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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