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The number of open jobs dropped to 6.62 million in May from an upwardly revised 6.84 million in April, but still continued to exceed the number of unemployed. The rate of layoffs and discharges remained steady at 1.1%, although the rate of quits increased to 2.4% (+0.1%), with an increasing rate of workers quitting jobs in hospitality (4.6%), professional services (3.3%), retail (3.3%), and mining and logging (3.3%). Job openings increased notably for professional services (5.4%), health care (5.3%), hospitality (5.3%), and transportation (5.1%), although a survey of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) members found that 87% of businesses trying to hire were unable to find qualified candidates.
In June, the Producer Price Index (PPI) measure of wholesale inflation was up +0.3%, as a +0.1% increase in goods prices helped hold back the effect of a +0.4% increase in service prices. The increase in service prices was itself comprised of a +0.7% increase in trade service prices and a +0.5% increase for transportation and warehousing, while a -1.1% drop in food prices helped to balance out a +0.8% increase in energy costs to lower overall goods inflation. On a yearly basis, overall PPI inflation was up +3.4% (+0.3%), with the core index, stripping out foods, energy and trade, up +2.7% (+0.1%). Yearly prices have increased for almost all product categories, with notable increases for petroleum products (+40.0%), lumber (+17.8%), iron and steel (+13.5%), and nonferrous metals (+13.1%), and decreases for hides and leather (-8.0%), advertising (-4.7%), electronic components (-2.4%), farm products (-1.3%), and software publishing (-1.1%).
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June increased +0.1%, slowing from May’s +0.2% increase, and raising yearly inflation to +2.9%. Energy prices dropped for electricity (-1.4%) and piped gas (-1.7%), but were offset by increases for fuel oil (+2.9%) and gasoline (+0.5%) to bring overall monthly energy costs down by only -0.3%. However, on a yearly basis, energy costs were up +12.0% due to a +24.3% increase in gasoline and a +30.8% increase in fuel oil. Excluding food and energy, core CPI was up +0.2% for the month and +2.3% for the year. By location, yearly CPI prices increased +3.6% in the West, +2.7% in the South, +2.6% in the Northeast, and +2.5% in the Midwest, with inflation for specific urban areas ranging from +4.2% in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region to +1.9% in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area.
Monday July 16 – Retail Sales
Tuesday July 17 – Industrial Production