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August 19, 1999

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

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102