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May 22, 2015

Firmer underlying inflation keeps Fed on rate hike path

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rising shelter and medical care costs boosted underlying U.S. inflation pressures in April, a welcome sign for the Federal Reserve as it contemplates raising interest rates this year.

The Labor Department said on Friday its Consumer Price Index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.3 percent last month. It was the largest rise in the so-called core CPI since January 2013 and followed a 0.2 percent gain in March.

May 22, 2015

U.S. consumer prices soft; underlying inflation rising

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer prices moderated in April on weak gasoline prices, but rising shelter and medical care costs boosted underlying inflation pressures, which should keep the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates later this year.

The Labor Department said on Friday its Consumer Price Index gained 0.1 percent last month after increasing 0.2 percent in March. In the 12 months through April, the CPI fell 0.2 percent, the largest decline since October 2009, after dipping 0.1 percent in March.

May 21, 2015

U.S. economy tepid in early second quarter, but jobs market resilient

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy was on a modest growth path early in the second quarter with home resales falling in April and manufacturing activity on the backfoot in May, although the labour market continued to tighten.

Growth is struggling to rebound strongly after slumping at the start of the year, weighed down by bad weather, a strong dollar, port disruptions and deep energy spending cuts.

May 21, 2015

U.S. jobless claims rise; four-week average lowest since 2000

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continued to suggest the labor market was tightening.

The jobs market is strengthening despite a sluggish economy that has been characterized by tepid consumer spending, as well as weak business investment and manufacturing activity.

May 19, 2015

Robust U.S. housing data offers hope for second-quarter growth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. housing starts jumped to their highest level in nearly 7-1/2 years in April and permits soared, hopeful signs for an economy that is struggling to regain strong momentum after a dismal first quarter.

The strength in housing is in stark contrast with weakness in consumption, business spending and manufacturing, which have prompted economists to lower their second-quarter growth estimates and raised doubts that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before the end of the year.

May 15, 2015

U.S. factory, consumer confidence data darken second-quarter outlook

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. industrial production fell for a fifth straight month in April due in part to a further decline in oil and gas drilling, painting a lackluster picture of economic growth in the second quarter.

The economy’s struggle to pick up steam after a dismal first quarter was underscored by other data on Friday showing a sharp drop in consumer confidence in early May and only a mild rebound in factory activity in New York state.

May 15, 2015

U.S. factory, consumer confidence data darken Q2 outlook

WASHINGTON, May 15 (Reuters) – U.S. industrial production
fell for a fifth straight month in April due in part to a
further decline in oil and gas drilling, painting a lackluster
picture of economic growth in the second quarter.

The economy’s struggle to pick up steam after a dismal first
quarter was underscored by other data on Friday showing a sharp
drop in consumer confidence in early May and only a mild rebound
in factory activity in New York state.

May 14, 2015

Jobless claims near 15-year low; producer prices fall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, indicating the jobs market was on solid footing even as the economy struggles to regain momentum after abruptly slowing in the first quarter.

Other data on Thursday showed that a strong dollar and lower oil prices suppressed producer inflation in April. That together with signs of modest growth early in the second quarter suggest the Federal Reserve will probably not raise interest rates until later in the year.

May 14, 2015

U.S. jobless claims near 15-year low; producer prices fall

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – The number of Americans
filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell
last week, indicating the jobs market was on solid footing even
as the economy struggles to regain momentum after abruptly
slowing in the first quarter.

Other data on Thursday showed that a strong dollar and lower
oil prices suppressed producer inflation in April. That together
with signs of modest growth early in the second quarter suggest
the Federal Reserve will probably not raise interest rates until
later in the year.

May 13, 2015

Retail sales unchanged; import prices fall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales were flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other big-ticket items, indicating the economy was struggling to rebound strongly after barely growing in the first quarter.

The weak retail sales report from the Commerce Department, and other data on Wednesday showing the 10th straight month of declining import prices in April, suggest little urgency for the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates.