As expected, investors paid close attention to Federal Reserve official statements following the FOMC meeting last week. “Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday… that the central bank was preparing additional ways to support the economy after slashing interest rates to zero and purchasing trillions of dollars of government debt to improve financial market functioning.
Officials this week projected they would hold rates near zero through 2022,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Renewed concerns about the longer-term economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic weighed on equity prices as the Dow Industrials shed 1,505 points for the week to close at 25,605.54 on Friday, despite some better than expected economic reports. Here’s a recap:
University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers – Preliminary Results
All three indexes showing preliminary results for June 2020 indicated gains:
- The Index of Consumer Sentiment was up 9.1 percent;
- The Current Economic Conditions Index rose 6.7 percent;
- The Index of Consumer Expectations increased 10.9 percent.
Produce Price Index
Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Producer Price Indexes for May 2020.
- Final demand index increased 0.4 percent in May 2020 on a seasonally adjusted basis (SA) and is down 0.8 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis (NSA) from a year ago, May 2019.
- The final demand goods index rose 1.6 percent (SA) in May 2020, the largest increase since the index began in November 2009.
- The final demand services index decreased 0.2 percent (SA) in May 2020.
- The final demand less foods, energy, and trade service increased 0.1 percent (SA) in May 2020 after seeing three months of declines.
Consumer Price Index
Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index Summary for May 2020.
- The consumer price index for All Urban Consumers declined 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis (SA). The month before, this index fell 0.8 percent (fifth worse decrease since January 1947).
- On a twelve-month basis, May 2019 to May 2020, the all items index increased 0.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted (NSA).
- The food index increased 0.7 percent (SA) for May 2020 and 4.0 percent (NSA) over the past twelve months.
- The gasoline index decreased 3.5 percent (SA) in May 2020 and has dropped 33.8 percent (NSA) over the past twelve months.
- The transportation services index decreased 3.6 percent (SA) in May 2020 and is down 8.7 percent (NSA) over the past twelve months.
- The all items less food and energy index rose 1.2 percent (NSA) over the past twelve months, a reversal from the previous twelve month reading (-0.4) which was the smallest change in the history of this index, which began in 1957.