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Job openings increased to 5.9 million (+518,000) on the last business day of June, and hires slowed to 6.7 million (-503,000). For accommodation/food service workers, job openings increased by +198,000, and hiring increased +78,000, but separations were up, reducing the number of jobs by -175,000. Job openings decreased by -26,000 for state/local government workers, with -59,000 education jobs lost, but hiring for non-education state/local workers was up +30,000. In construction, job openings were down -70,000, and hiring slowed by -181,000. Over the previous 12 months there were a total 70.2 million hires and 79.1 million separations, yielding a net loss of -8.9 million jobs.
Producer prices were up +0.6% in July after a -0.2% decrease in June and a +0.4% increase in May, but overall yearly producer inflation was down -0.4%. Wholesale service prices were up +0.5%, largely due to a +7.8% increase in portfolio management prices. Wholesale goods prices rose +0.8% for the third consecutive monthly increase, with July’s increase due primarily to a +10.1% increase in gas prices. Excluding the more volatile food, energy and trade services components, core producer prices were up +0.3% for the month, matching June’s increase, and were up +0.1% for the year, for the first positive yearly reading since March.
Retail sales were up +1.2% to $536.0 billion in July, slowing from June’s upwardly revised +8.4% monthly growth. On a yearly basis, sales were up +2.7% compared to July 2019, but year to date sales compared to the same period in 2019 were down significantly for clothing (-36.5%), restaurants (-21.4%), electronics stores (-18.6%), gasoline stations (-16.8%), and furniture stores (-13.5%). Year to date sales were up for nonstore (e.g. online) retailers (+19.8%), food stores (+12.8%), and building supply stores (+11.3%). Year to date sales were up +2.3% for general merchandise stores, but the department store sector was down -18.5%.
Tuesday August 18 – Housing Starts
Friday August 21 – Existing Home Sales
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