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The US Consumer Price Index is a widely used measure of inflation in the United States. It tracks the average change in prices paid by urban consumers for a basket of goods and services over time.
The CPI is published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and is a key indicator of the country's overall price level.
Markets look to the CPI as one of the key measures of inflation, but the Federal Reserve has stated that they prefer using the PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditure) Price Index, notably the core read.
This is because the CPI uses a fixed basket of goods when determining the difference in prices against the prior month/year, while the PCE uses a varying basket of goods, focusing on items that consumers are actually purchasing. Therefore, the Fed sees the PCE price index as a better gauge for assessing how much more Americans are actually paying for goods and services.
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US Retail Sales
The US Census Bureau's Retail Sales Report is a monthly release that provides data on the total sales of goods and services made by retailers in the United States.
It measures the performance of various types of businesses, such as clothing stores, restaurants, electronics shops, and more, to gauge consumer spending patterns.
Retail sales data is crucial for assessing the health of the US economy, as consumer spending is a significant driver of economic activity.
The US Producer Price Index is a monthly economic indicator published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It measures the average change in selling prices received by domestic producers for their goods and services over time.
The PPI tracks price movements at the wholesale or producer level, offering insights into inflationary pressures within various industries.
Like the CPI, it is a closely followed gauge of inflation, but on the supply side as opposed to the consumer side, making it a leading indicator, while the CPI is seen as a lagging indicator. This is because increases in Producer Prices can lead to increased costs being passed down to consumers and can also affect figures from the manufacturing sector, such as manufacturing PMIs, and factory orders.
Initial Jobless Claims
Initial Jobless Claims is a weekly report published by the US Department of Labor. It provides data on the number of individuals who have filed new claims for unemployment benefits in the previous week.
Continued Jobless Claims provides data on the number of individuals who are continuing to receive unemployment benefits after their initial claims.
It reflects the number of people who remain unemployed and are still seeking assistance. Continued jobless claims offer insights into the ongoing impact of job losses on the labor market and can help gauge the duration of unemployment spells.
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US Industrial Production
The Federal Reserve's Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Report provides data on the output and capacity utilization of the US manufacturing, mining, and utility sectors.
The Industrial Production component measures the total production of physical goods and services generated by these sectors.
It offers insights into the overall level of economic activity and is considered a key indicator of industrial and manufacturing health.
Capacity Utilization indicates how much of the country's industrial capacity is being utilized. It's expressed as a percentage and helps gauge the efficiency of the production process. High capacity utilization may signal potential inflationary pressures, while low utilization may indicate underutilized resources in the economy.
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University of Michigan Sentiment
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is a widely followed economic indicator in the United States. It measures the confidence and sentiment of American consumers regarding the overall state of the economy. It consists of two main components:
Current Conditions: This component assesses consumers' perceptions of their current financial situation and the current state of the economy. It reflects how consumers view their present circumstances.
Expectations: This component gauges consumers' expectations for the future, including their outlook on economic conditions, employment, and personal financial prospects.
Additionally, the University of Michigan survey includes measures of inflation expectations, specifically the 1-year and 5-year inflation expectations:
1-Year Inflation Expectations: This represents what consumers anticipate the inflation rate will be over the next 12 months.
5-Year Inflation Expectations: This reflects consumers' expectations regarding the inflation rate over the next 5 years.
These inflation expectation figures are crucial because they provide insights into how consumers perceive future inflation trends.