Investors look ahead to consumer price index


NEW YORK (NewsNation) — The U.S. government releases its consumer price index for July on Wednesday, and its measure of wholesale inflation on Thursday.

Stock futures are trading slightly lower overnight as investors focus on the upcoming key inflation reports to be released.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5% and futures for the S&P 500 ticked up 0.6%.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 lost 0.2% on Friday after government data showed American employers added twice the number of jobs expected to be created in July.

“We’re getting a 360 view of inflation data this week,” NewsNation business contributor Lydia Moynihan said. “We’re getting the consumer price index, which obviously is the headline grabber there. It’s a good indication of how much money we are paying for the same products that we were last year at this time.”

Moynihan said there’s an optimism each month that inflation has peaked, but every month, the Fed has been wrong.

“Last month, we expected an 8.8% increase in inflation year-over-year, but came in at 9.1%. Economists are predicting we could see a 9.3% year-over-year this month,” she said.

The Federal Reserve is paying close attention to unit labor costs and production price index in addition to the consumer price index. These upcoming reports will determine the course of action the Fed will take: whether it needs to raise interest rates up a little more, or if it can “take the foot off the gas pedal a little bit.”

If the CPI is higher this month, the Fed will have no choice but to raise interest rates, yet again.

“The Federal Reserve is going to be looking at that data point and saying, the economy is vibrant people are employed, clearly we can raise rates a little bit higher. So obviously, the combination of the labor market remaining strong, and if we get a really high number this month, it seems like that’s an indication the Federal Reserve will have no choice but to raise rates even higher,” Moynihan said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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