The United States Department of Labor recently released economic indicators for June, which show, among other things, a jump of about .7 percent in prices for consumer goods from May.
Here’s a boiled-down look at the latest figures:
Consumer Price Increase: Largest in 11 Months
- Consumer prices up .7 percent: This jump in inflation is the largest since last July, and just over the .6 percent that most economists were predicting. Experts are apparently attributing the jump to increased gasoline prices.
- Industrial production down .4 percent: In response to decreased demand for a variety of consumer goods, many manufacturers cut back on production in June. Goods in this category include cars, machines and household appliances. The good news: in May, production fell by 1.4 percent – some experts see June’s lower drop as a sign of the recession’s easing.
- 2009 prices down 1.4 percent from 2008: Though month-to-month to prices rose in June, prices are still lower than they were this time last year. Interestingly, this is the biggest year-to-year drop in about 60 years.
- Energy prices up 7.4 percent: This jump was affected partly by the 17.3 percent leap upward gasoline prices took last month, as the summer travel season began. Analysts are reportedly predicting, though, that prices should ease a bit as the summer continues – this month has already seen some decline.
- Car and clothes prices up .7 percent, airfare down .6 percent: Reflecting various trends in consumer demands, some month-to-month changes cancel each other out in the final tally of price changes.
Core Inflation Up .2 Percent in June
Though economists predicted a slightly lower rise of .1 percent in core inflation (which does not take into account food or energy), the .2 percent rise is considered reasonable by most standards.
Since last year, inflation has risen 1.7 percent, a number that jibes with downward pressure on prices typical of a recession.
Unemployment in June
The Labor Department’s numbers for last month show a current unemployment rate of 9.5 percent, up only slightly from May (9.4 percent).
This number translates to about 14.7 million Americans currently out of work.
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