Business News

NWQWM Morning Financial Report

Prices that consumers pay for a variety of goods and services rose 8.5% in July from a year ago, a slowing pace from the previous month due largely to a drop in gasoline prices.  On a monthly basis, prices were flat as energy prices broadly declined 4.6% and gasoline fell 7.7%. That offset a 1.1% monthly gain in food prices and a 0.5% increase in shelter costs.

U.S. worker productivity in the second quarter fell at its steepest pace on an annual basis since 1948, according to the Labor Department, while growth in unit labor costs accelerated, suggesting strong wage pressures will continue to help keep inflation elevated.  Nonfarm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, fell at 2.5% pace from a year ago. It also declined sharply in the second quarter at a 4.6% annualized rate, after having declined by an upwardly revised 7.4% in the first three months of the year.

The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.4 points in July to 89.9, however, it is the sixth consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98. Thirty-seven percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, an increase of three points from June and the highest level since the fourth quarter of 1979.

 

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