Inflation Tame, Housing Starts Advance: U.S. Economic Takeaways

  • Core consumer prices increased less than forecast in July
  • Beginning home construction outpaces building permits

What you need to know about Tuesday’s U.S. economic data:


  • Unchanged (matching forecast) after 0.2 percent gain
  • Core CPI, which excludes food and fuel, rose 0.1 percent (forecast was 0.2 percent)
  • CPI depressed by cheaper gas, hotel rates, airfares, groceries, used cars
  • Medical-care costs increased by most since February
  • CPI up 0.8 percent in year to July; core CPI up 2.2 percent

The Takeaway: Price pressures were absent across broad swathes of the economy with the exception being higher rents and medical-care costs. Federal Reserve policy makers want to see signs of inflation moving toward their goal. That is proving elusive thanks to discount-demanding consumers and competition from cheaper overseas goods, which make it harder for the central bank to raise interest rates anytime soon. Contained inflation, however, is stretching Americans’ paychecks. Real hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent, the most since January…

Inflation Tame, Housing Starts Advance: U.S. Economic Takeaways

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