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Modest rise in U.S. consumer prices may delay Fed rate hike
U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in July as higher food costs were partly offset by falling prices for a range of other goods, suggesting benign inflation that could persuade a cautious Federal Reserve to delay raising interest rates until December. But with the labor market near full employment and economic growth accelerating, analysts expect the U.S. central bank will announce a plan to start unwinding its massive bond portfolio at its policy meeting next month. The Labor Department said on Friday its Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1% last month after being unchanged in June. That lifted the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.7% from 1.6% in June. For more, click here...

U.S. consumer sentiment fell in July
A closely watched measure of household confidence in the U.S. economy declined in July, but remained elevated. The University of Michigan on Friday said its final reading on consumer sentiment during July was 93.4, up from a preliminary reading of 93.1 but down from 95.1 in June. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a final July figure of 93.1. For more, click here...

U.S. GDP meets 2Q expectations
U.S. gross domestic product increased 2.6% in the second quarter, meeting expectations. Last quarter's growth rate came in at 1.4%. The economy grew at a 2.1% pace in the fourth quarter of 2016. U.S. economic growth in 2015 was the best since 2005 but the momentum ebbed significantly in 2016, with the economy notching its weakest performance since the recession, according to revised government data published on Friday. For more, click here...

Fed keeps key interest rates unchanged
The Federal Reserve is keeping its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a time of low inflation, which remains persistently below the Fed’s target level. The Fed noted Wednesday in a statement that inflation has stayed undesirably low even though the job market keeps strengthening, with the unemployment rate just 4.4%. Normally, solid job growth drives up wages and prices. But the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation has moved further below its 2% target in recent months. The central bank decided after ending its latest policy meeting to leave its key rate unchanged in a range of 1% to 1.25% after having raised rates twice this year, in March and June. For more, click here...

U.S. consumer confidence hits four-month high
A four-month high in U.S. consumer confidence reflects Americans’ sunnier views on both their current situation and outlook, a positive sign for the economy, data from the New York-based Conference Board showed Tuesday. With unemployment near a 16-year low and U.S. stocks reaching record highs, consumers remain upbeat, which should continue to support the household spending that accounts for about 70% of U.S. gross domestic product. For more, click here...

Consumer sentiment slips lower
Confidence in future economic prospects continued slipping into early July, the University of Michigan reported Friday. U.S. consumer sentiment fell to 93.1 in a preliminary survey. Economists expected consumer sentiment to hit 95 in July, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates. "Overall, the recent data follow the same pattern repeatedly recorded around past cyclical peaks: expectations start to post significant declines while assessments of current economic conditions continue to reach new peaks," Richard Curtin, a chief economist for the University of Michigan's survey of consumers, said in a statement. For more, click here...

Weak inflation, retail sales dim rate hike prospects
U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in June and retail sales fell for a second straight month, pointing to tame inflation and soft domestic demand that diminished prospects of a third interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year. Still, the economy likely regained speed in the second quarter after a sluggish performance at the start of the year. Other data on Friday showed industrial production picked up in June, driven by a surge in oil and gas drilling. For more, click here...

Yellen: Stronger economy warrants more rate hikes
The U.S. economy is gathering strength as consumer spending, business investment and global demand for American products rebound from a weak spell at the beginning of the year, likely warranting further gradual increases in the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate, Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen plans to tell Congress Wednesday morning. In a measured statement to be delivered at the beginning of two days of testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, Yellen described an economy that appears generally strong, with continued job gains and low unemployment, but is still dogged by stubbornly low inflation. Despite low inflation, the Fed has lifted interest rates twice this year, in March and June, bringing its benchmark rate to between 1 and 1.25%. For more, click here...

Consumer sentiment survey declines in June
A measure of U.S. consumer sentiment declined in June, a possible sign of softening public confidence about the economy heading into the summer. The University of Michigan on Friday said its consumer-sentiment index was 95.1 in June, up from a preliminary June reading of 94.5 but down from 97.1 in May. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a final June reading of 94.4. For more, click here...

U.S. GDP growth revised up in 1Q
The U.S. economy slowed less sharply in the first quarter than initially estimated due to unexpectedly higher consumer spending and a bigger jump in exports. Gross domestic product increased at a 1.4% annual rate instead of the 1.2% pace reported last month, the Commerce Department said in its final assessment on Thursday. It was still the slowest growth rate since the second quarter of last year. Economists polled by Reuters had expected GDP growth to remain unchanged at a 1.2% rate. For more, click here...

Consumer confidence rises in June
The Consumer Confidence Index rose in June to 118.9, despite expectations for it to drop, The Conference Board announced Tuesday. Economists were expecting the index to drop slightly to 116 for the month of June, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates. Last month, the index dipped to 117.9, down from its April reading, The Conference Board said. For more, click here...

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Thursday, August 17, 2017


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