US CPI Soars To New 17 Year High, Dollar Unimpressed
The Federal Reserve's job has grown more difficult with inflation soaring; but the sharp increase in the Consumer Price Index is nonetheless heating up the outlook for an eventual rate hike. According to the Labor Department's monthly reading, front line inflation accelerated at a staggering 5.6 percent pace - a far greater increase than was expected by economists' consensus and the quickest clip of growth since December of 1990. However, headline consumers and markets grown relatively accustomed to oppressive levels of headline inflation with record fuel prices and rising borrowing costs spreading into other areas of the market.
Looking at the details of the July report, it was clear that energy was indeed one of the most taxxing components of the inflation reading. The energy component of the survey rose 4.0 percent (notabley the weakest increase in three months), though fuel and utilities jumped 3.3 percent and gasoline prices rose 4.1 percent. Elsewhere, food prices rose 0.9 percent while the average price for apparel jumped 1.2 percent due to seasonal trends. Altogether, this headline surge (while greater than the 5.1 percent clilp projected) was not unexpected. On a more stable footing, the core CPI number rose 2.5 percent - matching a 17 month high. After taking in this number, the dollar actually pulled back. Looking ahead, a shift in global central bank policy sees central bankers taking a greater interest in growth - validating the Fed's steady stance. What's more, with crude prices dropping precipitously over the past few weeks, there is likely expectations for gasoline costs to follow suit in the near future. - John Kicklighter, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com
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