Fed braces for another big US inflation number
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NEW YORK: US inflation data in the week may stiffen the resolve of Federal Reserve (Fed) policy makers to proceed with another big boost in interest rates later this month.
The closely watched consumer price index (CPI) probably rose nearly 9% in June from a year earlier, a fresh four-decade high, based on the median projection of economists in a Bloomberg survey.
Compared with May, the CPI is seen rising 1.1%, marking the third month in four with an increase of at least 1%.
While persistently high and broad-based inflation is seen persuading Fed officials to raise their benchmark rate 75 basis points for a second consecutive meeting on July 27, recession concerns are mounting.
There are signs, though, that price pressures at the producer level are stabilising as commodities costs – including energy –retreat. Even so, the inflation data are likely to draw heightened scrutiny globally after a faster-than-consensus result for May caused ructions in financial markets.
The US inflation data follow figures last Friday showing stronger-than-expected job growth and an unemployment rate near a five-decade low, underscoring a tight labour market that’s helping to keep wage growth elevated.
Figures on producer prices, industrial production and consumer sentiment, as well as the Fed’s Beige Book, are also released in the coming week.,
Regional Fed presidents Thomas Barkin and Raphael Bostic will discuss the economy and monetary policy at separate engagements.
Bloomberg Economics’ Yelena Shulyatyeva and Andrew Husby, said: “After employment data showed the labour market remains rock-solid, surging petrol prices will push June’s headline CPI to a fresh high. Even with growth slowing, the underlying shift toward services will prevent the economy from falling into a technical recession in the second quarter.”
Further north, in a precursor to the sort of decision the Fed is facing, the Bank of Canada will accelerate hiking with a rate increase of 75 basis points, if investor bets are to be believed.
Elsewhere, the shaky economic backdrop is likely to focus the finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 meeting in the Indonesian resort of Bali starting on Friday. Senior officials are set to discuss the latest on inflation, global risks, the war in Ukraine, and debt.
Meanwhile, global monetary tightening is likely to continue in earnest: aside from Canada, policy makers in Chile, New Zealand and South Korea may all deliver rate hikes of at least 50 basis points.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Bank of Korea will meet on Wednesday, with further major rate hikes expected in an attempt to tame inflation.
Investors will watch how the forerunners of global monetary tightening communicate further action going ahead. South Korea’s jobless data will come out the same day, while Australia’s employment report will be released Thursday, giving insight into the state of the economy in the second quarter.