Thursday, August 14

Inflation Up, Unemployment Slightly Down in July

That bastion of liberalism, the Wall Street Journal reports "U.S. inflation soared to a 17-year-high annual rate in July, a government report showed, led by gains in food, energy, airline fares and apparel."

Also, "Separately, the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly as expected last week but remained at high levels consistent with a rapid erosion in labor markets."

With energy and commodity prices on the retreat this month and the U.S. dollar strengthening, the inflation report is unlikely to spook Federal Reserve policymakers into raising rates anytime soon as the economy struggles with rising unemployment and soft consumer spending.

Still, a surprising rise in core inflation that excludes food and energy last month will keep officials on edge about the possibility that food and energy prices will become more firmly entrenched in the economy.

The consumer price index rose 0.8% in July, the Labor Department said Thursday. That came on the heels of June's 1.1% rise, which was the second largest since June 1982. Excluding food and energy, the CPI advanced 0.3% for a second-straight month.

I'm sure it doesn't take an economist to conjecture why other prices are generally rising; transportation costs. Every item we buy has to make it to market somehow. This may be an excellent reason to support locally grown, locally made products.

No comments: