Inflation data, wherever one looks, are weak. Producer prices edged only 0.1 percent higher in June as did the less food & energy reading with year-on-year rates moving down noticeably, to 2.0 for a 4 tenths decline overall and to 1.9 percent for the core and a 2 tenths dip. The less food, energy and trade services reading did rise 0.2 percent but this on-year rate still slipped 1 tenth to 2.0 percent.
Service prices are in fact the best news in the report though the overall gain is only 0.2 percent and the reading for trade services, which tracks the retail and wholesale sectors, actually fell 0.2 percent. Food prices are a plus, rising 0.6 percent following May’s 0.2 percent dip, but were offset by energy prices which fell 0.5 percent for a second straight decline. Prices for finished services managed only a 0.1 percent gain with this year-on-year rate, which offers a telling indication on demand for legal and health services, at only 1.7 percent.
However GDP or employment is moving, inflation is a fundamental indicator for general demand. These results will not move up expectations for tomorrow’s consumer price report where similar weakness is the unfortunate expectation.
Dear Econoday Parrot
- Dear Econoday parrot, are you personally happy when the things you buy go up in prices so you get less for your money?
- Is it unfortunate when clothes, food, and electronics go down in price?
- Do you not see inflation in asset prices?
- Is low inflation a “fundamental indicator” of anything other than your inability to measure it?
Dear Econoday parrot, please get a grip on reality. Inflation has hollowed out the middle class whose wages have not kept up with Fed-sponsored inflation.
The beneficiaries of inflation have been the banks, the already wealthy, and the asset holders to the detriment of everyone else.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock