Full text of U.S. Financial Data : August 19, 1999
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August 19, 1999 USFinancialData THE WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS: Following two consecutive months of no change, prices paid by consumers for goods and services (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in July, or 3.7 percent at an annual rate. When the direct effects of food and energy prices are excluded, though, the CPI rose 0.2 percent, or at a 2.1 percent rate. Year-to-date, the CPI is up at a 2.4 percent rate, while the so-called core measure has increased at a 1.7 percent rate. During the same period last year, these increases were 1.6 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively. Prices for finished goods paid by producers (PPI) increased at a 2.8 percent annual rate in July and are up at a 1.7 percent rate year-to-date. By contrast, the PPI posted declines of 0.1 percent in 1998 and 1.2 percent in 1997. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit totaled $24.6 billion in June, a noticeable jump from May’s $21.2 billion deficit. Although exports rose 0.5 percent, the value of imports surged 3.9 percent in June—the largest increase since March 1993. The index of U.S. industrial production advanced at an 8.8 percent annual rate in July, the largest gain in 11 months. Similarly, the industry capacity utilization rate posted its highest reading of the year, rising 0.4 percentage points to 80.7 percent. Privately owned housing starts totaled 1.661 million units at an annual rate in July. Although July’s starts were up 5.7 percent from June’s rate, they were off slightly from May’s 1.668 million pace. All data are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise indicated. U.S. Financial Data is published weekly by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. For more information on data, please call (314) 444-8590. To be added to the mailing list, please call (314) 444-8808 or (314) 444-8809. Information in this publication is also included in the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) electronic bulletin board at (314) 621-1824 or internet World Wide Web server at www.stls.frb.org/fred.