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Growth Report for Monday, July 22, 2013

CONSUMER PRICES RISE 0.5% FOR JUNE Gas prices soared 6.3% last month, and they contributed greatly to the jump in the Consumer Price Index. Core inflation (minus food and energy prices) increased just 0.2% in June. As the headline CPI advanced only once during March-May, does this signal mounting inflation pressures? Maybe not. Looking deeper …

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Where Did Inflation Go?

Shouldn’t it be rising with all this bond buying? Consumer inflation just hit a 50-year low. So indicates the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge – the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index maintained by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.1 Besides tracking consumer inflation, the PCE price index measures household purchases, a major factor in GDP growth. …

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Growth Report for Monday, July 15, 2013

WILL THE EASING END SOONER, OR LATER? Last Wednesday, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke lifted stocks by noting that the U.S. economy needed “highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future,” adding that the current 7.6% jobless rate “overstates the health of the labor market.” Remarks like these didn’t exactly suggest the Fed would scale …

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Growth Report for Monday, July 1, 2013

CHECKING IN ON THE CONSUMER According to the Commerce Department, consumer spending improved 0.3% in May as consumer incomes increased 0.5%. The latest household sentiment polls seemed to reflect the good news. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence gauge hit 81.4 in June, the best mark since January 2008; the University of Michigan’s final June survey …

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