CPI UP JUST 0.1%, PPI ADVANCES 0.4% In September, consumer prices barely increased – in fact, the core Consumer Price Index was flat for the second month in a row. According to the Labor Department, core CPI has risen only 0.8% in the last 12 months - core inflation hasn’t been so tame since 1961. With the economy so sluggish, retailers clearly need to keep their prices low to see if they can promote any demand. Producer prices increased for the third straight month, with the core PPI rising 0.1% for September. The core PPI is up 1.6% over the past 12 months, and the overall PPI has advanced 4.0% in that period.1,2
CONSUMER SENTIMENT SLIPS A BIT October’s preliminary Universityof Michigan/Reutersconsumer sentiment index is in, and it shows a mild decline. Analysts weren’t expecting the index to move south, but it went to 67.9 from the final 68.2 September reading.3
RETAIL SALES UP BY 0.6% FOR SEPTEMBER On Friday, the Commerce Department reported the second straight monthly advance in the category, after a revised 0.7% gain for August. Sales improved across almost all retail categories – they only weakened at clothing stores.3
BUSINESS INVENTORIES GROW IN AUGUST Business stockpiles increased by 0.6% in that month, according to the Commerce Department. This follows a 1.1% increase for July. Both of those gains will likely constitute major contributions to 3Q GDP. On the downside, business sales only improved by 0.1%, leaving the inventory-to-sales ratio at 1.27 months.4
WALL STREET RIDES A 2-WEEK WIN STREAK The Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all advanced last week. The DJIA gained 0.51% for the week to close at 11,062.78 on Friday. The NASDAQ ended last week at 2,468.77 after a 2.78% weekly gain; the S&P 500 wound up at 1,176.19 after a 0.95% weekly advance.5
COMING NEXT WEEK: On Monday, we have a report on September industrial output; on Tuesday, we get data on September housing starts and building permits; on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve’s newest Beige Book comes out; and on Thursday, we receive fresh initial claims numbers and the Conference Board’s leading indicators index for September.
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly.
These returns do not include dividends.
“The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.” – Ambrose Bierce
Ward off impulse buying with a 30-day list. If you feel like you have to have something, put it on your 30-day list. See if you still have the urge to buy it after 30 days; chances are, you won’t.
What is placed on a table and cut, but never eaten?
Last week’s riddle: I am a word that signifies a wide natural area – but remove my first letter, and you are left with a word signifying a narrow urban corridor. What word am I?
Last week’s answer:
Valley – remove the V and you get “alley”
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A degreed engineer (in a past life) business owner, business development coach, project manger, and organizational strategist with a strong background in surveillance, ES&H redesign, project management, process engineering, organizational operations, management, business law, and ISO internal auditing. Am an organzing member of NSBE-AE, Organizing Board member Greenwood Festival Chorale, former Omega Psi Phi Graduate Chapter President (Baselius) a former Shelter BOD Chair, a former Regional Chair, former Lander Board of Visitors Member, former Chamber BOD member, as well as many other organizational leadership positions. Owner Spearman Enterprises and Managing Partner Top Flight LLC.