WASHINGTON — U.S. retail sales declined in September and prices paid by businesses also fell, worrisome signs that consumer demand may be faltering while inflation is failing to gain traction.
The two reports on Wednesday could deepen concerns at the U.S. Federal Reserve over the readiness of the economy to absorb interest rate hikes planned to begin in the middle of next year.
(WASHINGTON) — Cheaper gas drove down a measure of wholesale prices in November for the second straight month, a sign inflation remains mild. The producer price index fell 0.8 percent last month, the steepest drop since May, the Labor Department said Thursday. That follows a 0.2 percent decline in October. The index measures the cost of goods before they reach the consumer. Gas prices fell last month by the most in more than three years. Food prices, however, rose by the most in nearly two years, pushed higher by costlier beef and vegetables.
Canadian fertilizer company Agrium Inc reported on Tuesday a sharply lower third-quarter profit and a disappointing forecast for the current fourth quarter.
Uncertainty in fertilizer markets, combined with a late North America growing season caused many buyers to delay crop nutrient purchases, said Chief Executive Mike Wilson.
WASHINGTON — The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped for a third straight week last week, the latest indication the labor market recovery was gaining traction.
Other data on Thursday showed a spike in the cost of gasoline pushed up producer prices last month, but the lack of broad price pressures gives the Federal Reserve scope to maintain its very accommodative monetary policy stance even as the job market strengthens.
Once again there is grim data from Europe. The safe thing to do is expect grim data every time European data is reported. Except for an occasional outlier, you will not be too far off.
Eurozone Retail Sales Decline 15th Month
Markit Reports Eurozone retail downturn deepens in August