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Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. consumer price index fell for the third straight month in May with a gauge of the index that removes volatile food and energy prices also negative for a third month in a row.

Why it matters: The reports fan worries that the coronavirus pandemic could spark deflation, further eroding U.S. growth.

  • It was the first time in the history of the series, which dates back to the 1950s, that the CPI has declined for three straight months.
  • April marked the lowest that the core CPI has ever fallen, touching -0.4%.
  • May's CPI also showed the smallest year-over-year increase since 2011, at 1.2%, and followed another historically small increase in April.

Watch this space: May's CPI was the latest government report to come with a warning. The Labor Department said it was hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, as in-store data collection has been suspended since March 16.

  • The department added that data collection last month was also impacted “by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments,” leading to “an increase in the number of prices being considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.”
  • BLS said the same thing in its CPI report last month and noted a “misclassification error” in its highly followed jobs report released last

Go deeper: Why the Fed wants higher inflation

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

PMI reports show V-shaped recovery in services and manufacturing

Expand chart
Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Early readings of IHS Markit's manufacturing and services purchasing managers' indexes rose by more than expected in August, showing continued improvement in expectations and output among U.S. firms.

By the numbers: The manufacturing index rose by 2.7 points month over month to 53.6, continuing the series' rise from 50.9 in July.

Updated 20 mins ago - Sports

MLB enters first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is in a management lockout — the first work stoppage since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.