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There were 6.662 million job openings on the last business day of June, compared to an upwardly revised 6.659 million openings at the end of May. The job openings rate, which is the ratio of job openings to total employment plus job openings, was unchanged from May at 4.3%, with job openings increasing for financial activities (+35,000) and educational services (+20,000) and dropping for transportation, warehousing and utilities (-84,000) and professional services (-26,000). There were 5.7 million hires in June, (-96,000 from May, +66.6 million Y/Y), and 5.52 million separations (+83,000 from May, +64.1 million Y/Y), yielding a net employment gain of 2.5 million jobs over the last 12 months.
A -0.1% drop in service prices offset a +0.1% rise in goods prices to keep wholesale inflation unchanged in July, and dropped yearly inflation to +3.3% (-0.1%). The increase in goods prices was unchanged from June’s rate, with July’s increase due largely to a +0.7% increase in pharmaceutical preparation prices. Prices for energy and food fell -0.5% and -0.1% respectively, and inflation less food and energy prices gained +0.3% (+2.7% Y/Y). The drop in service prices was the first since December 2017, and due largely to a -0.8% drop in trade services, which was in turn due to a -12.7% drop in petroleum retailing. Excluding the effects of food, energy and services, wholesale inflation rose +0.3% for the month and +2.8% for the year.
Consumer prices rose +0.2% (+2.9% Y/Y) in July, accelerating from June’s +0.1% increase, with nearly 60% of the gain due to a +0.3% increase in shelter costs. Food prices were up +0.1%, while energy prices dropped -0.5%, bringing core inflation, which excludes both food and energy, up +0.2%. On a yearly basis, core inflation rose +2.4%, which is the largest 12-month increase since the period ending in September 2008. Energy prices dropped for all components except fuel oil, which rose +1.2%, although yearly energy prices were up +12.1%, with a +34.7% increase for fuel oil, a +25.4% increase for motor fuel, a -08.% drop for electricity and a -1.3% drop for piped gas.
Wednesday August 15 – Retail Sales
Wednesday August 15 – Industrial Production
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