The U.S. Labor Department gave us the formal inflation reading for the month of July on Tuesday morning. The good news is that inflation concerns have abated. July's Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.1% on the headline report. It is down from the 0.3% reading from June. Bloomberg estimated it at 0.1%, with a range of 0.1% to 0.2%.
The core CPI rate without the more volatile food and energy components was up only 0.1%, versus the Bloomberg estimate of 0.2%. This is the same increase that we saw from June.
On a year-over-year basis, this puts the headline CPI up 2.0%. On an ex-food and energy basis, the core CPI rose by 1.9% from the prior year.
Food and shelter prices marked increased levels from the June numbers, but these were offset by a decrease in energy. The energy index had its first decline since March, and this was throughout all the major energy components — you have probably even noticed it at the gasoline pump.
Crude oil continues to come down and other commodity prices have not been rising handily. After having tracked higher prices, much of the inflationary concerns have dwindled.
For a takeaway, this was the slowest rise in CPI since February. The good news is that this reading allows for the Federal Reserve to be more flexible in maintaining its policies with the coming end of quantitative easing.
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Filed under: Economy