Sep 13, 2018

Consumer price increases slowed in August

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Excluding food and energy items. Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The consumer price index, which measures how much consumers pay for a variety of items, rose at a slower pace in August than economists expected. The cost of apparel and health care services declined, while the price of gasoline increased.

Why it matters: The consumer price index is a key gauge of inflation, which Federal Reserve officials take into account when deciding whether or not to raise interest rates. According to Lee Ferridge, an analyst at State Street, if the lack of inflation continues the Fed may not raise rates as frequently as some have anticipated.

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A decline in business lending shows the impact of manufacturing's struggles

Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. commercial and industrial lending fell by $9 billion in December, the largest drop in nearly three years, and the total amount of C&I loans declined to levels last seen in May, data from the St. Louis Fed shows.

Why it matters: The decline in lending to commercial and industrial businesses is the latest sign that the recession in U.S. manufacturing and continued struggles in goods-producing sectors of the economy are spreading. The Commerce Department reported that U.S. business investment had contracted for six straight months as of the third quarter, and had the biggest drop since the end of 2015 in Q3.

Go deeper: Manufacturing should bounce back in 2020

Keep ReadingArrowJan 15, 2020

Wages for typical workers are rising at their fastest rate in a decade

Construction workers holding a rally in the Bronx. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wages for nonsupervisory employees — who make up 82% of the workforce — are rising at the fastest rate in more than a decade, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: It indicates that the benefits of a tightening labor market and a time of historically low unemployment rates are finally being passed along to most workers.

Go deeperArrowDec 27, 2019

Australian stock market hits record high despite deadly wildfires

Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Facing unprecedented wildfires that have claimed at least 27 lives, destroyed more than 2,000 homes, and scorched much of the country's southeast, Australia's stock market has somehow been one of the world's top performers, and touched a record high today.

By the numbers: The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rallied nearly 1% to close at 6929, surpassing the previous intraday record high.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020