US Fed official sees moderate growth, higher inflation ahead

Producer Price Index (PPI) Declines in July, Raising Potential Disinflation Concerns

Prescription drugs jumped 1.3 per cent in July after increasing 1.0 per cent in the prior month. The cost of rental accommodation increased 0.2 per cent in July after rising 0.3 per cent in the prior month. It was the first drop in wholesale prices since a decline of 0.2 per cent last August. Producer prices rose 1.9% for the twelve months ended July 2017.

Inflation has been low throughout this recovery.

U.S. Treasury yields fell on Friday as softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data for July further eroded expectations of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve at its December monetary policy meeting.

Excluding energy and food prices, core PPI fell by 0.1% month-on-month, while analysts anticipated the index to rise by 0.1 percentage points to 0.2%.

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The report said consumer prices in July were up by 1.7% compared to the same month a year ago, reflecting a modest acceleration from the 1.6 year-over-year growth in June.

Almost 80% of the decline this month was fueled by a 0.2% decrease in the cost of services. There was a significant decline in gas prices for the month which dragged the overall energy index lower while gasoline prices were unchanged. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told Congress last month that she believes tight labour markets will start producing higher wage gains and increased inflation.

On the earnings front, News Corp, Nordstrom, Nvidia and Snap have released their quarterly results after the close of Thursday's trading, while department store operator J.C. Penney will report its results before the opening bell.

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