Saturday, 23 September, 2017

U.S. consumer prices unchanged in June

Dollar treads water, US inflation data awaited for Fed direction Cautious Fed Sends Stocks to Record Highs, Dollar Dips
Preston Stone | 15 July, 2017, 07:18

Final data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan's industrial production declined more than estimated in May.

The labour department reports consumer price inflation for June at 8.30am in Washington on Friday, and the figures could either round out four months of sub-par progress or suggest that the slowdown is - as the Fed has been saying - transitory.

Weak vehicle sales, which have been down in the first half of the year, were not to blame this time: excluding that volatile category, sales were still down 0.2 per cent. Petrol stations, however, saw a 1.3 per cent drop in sales last month, a time when Americans traditionally hit the road for summer holidays, pushing petrol prices higher.

In the 12 months through June, the CPI increased 1.6 per cent - the smallest gain since October 2016 - after rising 1.9 per cent in May.

United States debt yields are lower with the 2 year down about -3 bp and the 10 year down about -4 bps now (from down about -1 bp before the number). The core CPI increased 1.7 per cent year-on-year after a similar gain in May.

As a reminder, the FOMC has a target of 2.0% to 2.5% for annualized inflation. "At present, with a federal funds rate at a range of 100 to 125 basis points, I would like to see some greater evidence that we are making progress toward meeting our 2% inflation objective in the medium term", Kaplan wrote in an essay.

As a result, the U.S. dollar fell, briefly touching a 10-month low against a basket of currencies. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers on Wednesday that the recent cool off in inflation was the result of "a few unusual reductions in certain categories of prices" that would eventually drop out of the calculation.

The Fed is projecting one more interest rate hike for this year, which economists expecting it to come in December. Food prices were unchanged after rising for five consecutive months.

Anderson Cooper Gets Fed Up With Trump Official Dodging His Questions
Ex-DNI Clapper: Russian compound in Maryland "was a major intelligence operation" against us; Trump shouldn't give it back. The Hill's media analyst (and Mediaite alum) Joe Concha was asked to weigh in on Gorka's recent clashes on CNN .

Prices for new vehicles decline for the fifth successive month while the run of declines for used vehicles extended to six months.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.1% increase in the CPI.

Americans also paid more for hospital visits and prescription medication, as well as motor vehicle insurance. Retail sales of gasoline were down 1.3%, based largely on lower prices. Food and beverage stores were down 0.4%, department stores were down 0.7% and restaurant sales were down 0.6%.

Moreover, retail sales growth for June was -0.2%, another disappointing economic data point that is driving market activity. Retail sales rose 2.8 per cent year-on-year in June.

Economists had forecast the CPI edging up 0.1 percent last month.

The soft domestic demand could also temper expectations of strong acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.

But the view that age determines when boom turns to bust has come under question in an era of abnormally low interest rates and at a time when central bankers are struggling to combat anaemic readings of output, productivity and wage growth.

TOKYO, July 14 (Reuters) - The dollar was little changed against a group of peers early on Friday, as currency investors remained cautious ahead of US inflation data due later in the session, which is expected to set the greenback's near-term direction. It has declined from a high of 98.5 in January.

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