Topic: Consumer Price Index
Written by Marsha Blackburn
Washington, D.C. – The once-rummaged shelves at grocery stores are full once more, but for parents stocking up on snacks and summer cookout supplies, something still looks wrong. Prices are on the rise.
Last week, a few thousand residents from West Tennessee joined my tele-town hall to voice their concerns about rising prices at the store, at the pump, and even further up the supply chain. Mark, who owns a small machine shop, told me, “Steel prices and wood prices are just going through the roof.”
Murfreesboro, TN – The number of homeowners insurance claims from lightning strikes and electrical surges in the United States rose in 2016, compared with 2015; however, the average cost that insurers paid on those claims fell, according to a new analysis by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
Clarksville, TN – Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and the Clarksville City Council have approved a resolution supporting Governor Bill Haslam’s goal to revamp transportation funding in Tennessee.
The governor’s IMPROVE Act, the top priority of his legislative agenda this year, is a revenue-neutral plan to cut taxes on food, manufacturing and business while providing a sustainable increase in funding for the state’s transportation network.
Tennessee Improve Act a Good Starting Point for Sustainable Transportation Funding
Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced Wednesday a comprehensive transportation funding plan that also includes a tax cut on food and manufacturing.
The proposal is called the IMPROVE Act, “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy.”
IMPROVE Act is the first piece of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s NextTennessee legislative agenda.
Nashville, TN – Joined by mayors from across the state and leaders in the manufacturing and trucking industries, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam today announced a comprehensive and strategic plan to cut taxes on food and manufacturing while updating how the state provides Tennesseans the safe and reliable transportation network needed to support future job growth.
The IMPROVE Act, “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy,” is the first piece of Haslam’s NextTennessee legislative plan, policy proposals aimed at building and sustaining economic growth and the state’s competitiveness for the next generation of Tennesseans.
Clarksville, TN – The FOMC minutes from the April 26th-27th policy meeting showed that “most [meeting] participants judged that if incoming data were consistent with economic growth picking up in the second quarter, labor market conditions continuing to strengthen, and inflation making progress toward the Committee’s 2 percent objective, then it likely would be appropriate for the Committee to increase the target range for the federal funds rate in June.”
However, “participants expressed a range of views about the likelihood that incoming information would make it appropriate to adjust the stance of policy at the time of the next meeting.”
Clarksville, TN – The economic data were consistent with a lackluster to moderate pace of growth in the near term. Retail sales disappointed, reflecting strength in autos and lower gasoline prices (but a modest trend otherwise). Industrial production was a little soft.
The Producer Price Index showed downward pipeline pressures, and the Consumer Price Index was mixed (reflecting lower energy prices, but some pressure in shelter costs). Excluding food and energy, the CPI rose 0.2% (+1.9%), but if you also exclude shelter, core inflation would have been 0.1% (+1.0% y/y).
Clarksville, TN – The economic data were mixed, but consistent with the theme of global softness and domestic strength. Unit auto sales improved further in September – and, combined with the August data on personal income and spending, suggest that inflation-adjusted consumer spending (70% of GDP) is on track to have expanded at an annual pace of 3.5% to 4.0% in 3Q15.
The trade deficit in goods widened sharply in August, with that split evenly between stronger imports (despite lower oil prices) and weaker exports. Net exports and an inventory correction are expected to subtract significantly from 3Q15 GDP growth, but underlying domestic demand appears to have remained strong.
Clarksville, TN – The Federal Open Market Committee delayed the start of policy normalization, citing concerns about global economic and financial developments.
The FOMC is not reacting to overseas developments per se, but rather to the implications for the U.S. economy (some restraint on growth, further downward pressure on inflation). In the revised dot plot, there was little agreement about where the federal funds rate would be at the end of 2016 and 2017.
Clarksville, TN – The economic calendar was light. Existing home sales were stronger than anticipated in March, but new home sales fell far short of expectations. Durable goods orders jumped 4.0%, but that reflected a surge in aircraft orders (which tend to be erratic). Ex-transportation, orders fell 0.2%.
Orders for core capital goods (nondefense and excluding aircraft) fell 0.5%, the seventh consecutive monthly decline. Unfilled orders (ex-transportation) fell further (not a good sign), while the inventory-to-shipment ratio continued to trend higher – both of these indicators bear watching, but neither is at a dangerous level.
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