The Federal Reserve ended its two-day meeting Wednesday, and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) held interest rates steady near zero, as expected. The FOMC followed the meeting with a statement saying that "economic activity has picked up." It also indicated US inflation was under control, stating:
With substantial resource slack likely to continue to dampen cost pressures and with longer-term inflation expectations stable, the Committee expects that inflation will remain subdued for some time.
To provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets, the Fed noted that it expects to finish purchases of "$1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and up to $200 billion of agency debt" in a slowing pace until the first quarter of 2010.
August inflation data showed that consumer prices had decreased 1.5% during the prior 12 months and that core annual inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose just 1.4%. That was the smallest year-over-year gain since February 2004, and well within the Federal Reserve’s traditional comfort zone of between 1%-2%. Continue reading Fed: Economy has ‘Picked Up’, US Inflation ‘Subdued’
U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in August but the key measure of inflation remained lower over the past 12 months, the government reported Wednesday morning.
Led by a 9.1% increase in gasoline prices, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in August and followed no change in July, according to the Labor Department. The core CPI, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, increased 0.1% in August, the same level as July.
"For inflation to be a concern, we’d have to see core rates rising consistently above 0.2% each month and wages start to rise," PNC analyst Robert Dye was quoted on CNNMoney. "The labor markets are far from healed enough for that to happen."
The latest data also helps to ease concerns of rising inflation due to recent government spending and the Federal Reserve monetary policy of injecting cash into the US economy in a continuing effort to stimulate a recovery. Continue reading Annual US inflation Down 1.5%, August Consumer Prices Higher on Energy Costs
US consumer prices edged slightly higher in August, due largely to higher energy costs, but they are lower over the past 12 months, new government data reveals.
The Consumer Price Index, which is the government’s most closely watched barometer for measuring inflation at the consumer level, rose 0.4% in August. The increase was "driven by a 9.1 percent rise in the gasoline index," according to the monthly released CPI report from the Labor Department.
"Oil is becoming the bane of our existence again, but other cost pressures remain reasonably well restrained," Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors was noted on Forbes.com.
Compared to the same period a year ago, consumer prices fell 1.5% — due largely again to gasoline prices — they were higher in August compared to the previous month but sharply lower than the levels seen last summer.
The US Inflation Calculator is updated with the newest government information, as are the following inflation rate and data pages:
1913-2009 CPI Data
Historical Inflation Rates
Annual Averages for Rate of Inflation
For an in depth look at August consumer prices, read Annual US inflation Down 1.5%.
US wholesale inflation ticked higher in August as producer prices rose 1.7% during the month, according to newly released data from the Labor Department. The monthly increase contrasts against a 0.9% decline in July, and is sharply above — more than double — what many analysts were expecting.
"We are concerned about the outlook for inflation later in 2010 and this report suggests that inflation pressures may be beginning to stir in manufacturing," John Ryding and Conrad DeQuadros of RDQ Economics was quoted on MarketWatch.com.
The Labor Department’s Producer Price Index data, which measures prices at the factory door and inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, showed the bulk of the increase came from higher energy costs. Continue reading US wholesale inflation higher as August producer prices rise 1.7%
U.S. consumer prices remained unchanged in July but annual inflation registered its largest decline since 1950, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The latest data helped ease concerns of rising inflation due to government spending and the Federal Reserves monetary policy of injecting cash into the US economy.
"It [inflation] could be a very large long-run problem," Mickey Levy, Bank of America, chief economist, was quoted on NYTimes.com. "But in the near-term, it’s not a problem at all."
The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, remained unchanged in July due largely to Continue reading US Consumer prices unchanged, biggest annual inflation drop since 1950
US consumer prices remained unchanged in July, temporarily easing concerns that government spending and the Fed monetary policy would ignite inflation.
The monthly released Labor Department Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed year-over-year inflation actually declined 2.1%, cut down by sharply lower energy costs as compared to last July when gasoline prices were over $4 a gallon.
"In the months ahead, we expect U.S. consumer prices to soften further, and headline consumer price inflation to remain in negative territory (at least through to some time in the fall), before beginning to creep above zero as the expected economic recovery gathers traction," Millan Mulraine, economics strategist with TD Securities, in a research note, was quoted on MarketWatch.
The Inflation Calculator is updated with the newest government information, as are the following inflation rate and data pages:
1913-2009 CPI Data
Historical Inflation Rates
Annual Averages for Rate of Inflation
For an in depth look at July consumer prices, read US Consumer prices unchanged, biggest annual inflation drop since 1950.
U.S. consumer prices jumped in June as higher energy costs — gasoline prices in particular — drove up the cost of living, although year-over-year inflation fell by the largest amount since Jan. 1950.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, rose 0.7% in June following a 0.1% increase in May, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. At the same time, inflation fell 1.4% compared to a year ago when energy prices were at their height. The annual decline is the biggest in 59 years.
"It’s a bit of a bogus comparison, because we’re comparing gas prices at nearly their astronomical peak last year," Stuart Hoffman, economist at PNC, was quoted on CNNMoney.com and referred to the the-record high gasoline prices of over $4 per gallon in July 2008.
Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the core CPI rose 0.2% in June after a 0.1% increase in May. Continue reading Consumer prices up 0.7% in June, inflation falls 1.4% in year
The cost of living in the U.S. climbed in June at the fastest pace since last summer. And like then, surging energy costs were mostly responsible.
Consumer prices rose 0.7% in June after a 0.1% increase in May as energy costs jumped 7.4% with prices at the pump up 17.3%.
Despite that, Labor Department Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released Wednesday shows the annual US inflation rate fell 1.4%, marking the biggest decline since Jan. 1950. Continue reading Inflation Calculator Adjusted
U.S. producer prices jumped to double the level expected, as surging energy prices weighed in heavily for the month.
The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose by 1.8% in June, the biggest increase since November 2007, according to a Labor Department report released Tuesday. The PPI measures prices at the factory door and inflation pressures before they reach the consumer.
The June PPI increase follows a 0.2% rise in May when energy costs had increased 2.9%. While gasoline prices have declined in recent weeks and in particular during early July, they are not reflected in June numbers, which shows energy prices climbed 6.6% — with heating oil costs rising 15.4% and gasoline prices soaring 18.5%.
"Sharply higher gasoline prices are the primary culprit behind the jump in the headline number," Tom Porcelli, a senior economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, was quoted on Bloomberg. For other items, he said, "the risk is skewed toward prices remaining soft over the near term."
Continue reading Producer prices surge 1.8% in June, led by energy costs
Consumer prices crawled weakly higher in May and for the first time in three months while inflation plunged 1.3% in the past year to mark the largest decline since April 1950, the government reported Wednesday.
The Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, inched 0.1% higher in May following a flat reading in April. The increase was less than generally expected, but many analyst are expecting more of the same tame readings in coming months.
"Inflation may be coming, but it’s not here yet and likely won’t be for some time," Richard Moody, chief economist at Forward Capital, was quoted on the AP.
"Inflation is not an issue,"Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America Inc. in New York, was quoted on Bloomberg. "There are huge amounts of slack in the economy and demand is quite soft, so it’s difficult to see how inflation can pick up for the balance of the year."
May’s higher energy costs — most specifically gasoline prices at the pump — were offset by lower food prices. Continue reading Inflation drops 1.3% in year; most in six decades, consumer prices rise 0.1%