Weekly economic review & outlook
Consumer inflation downshifts in September
OCT. 14, 2019
You Need to Know
Week in review
Inflation slower in September
The consumer price index (CPI) was flat in September as falling energy/gasoline costs offset a modest rise in core prices.
Layoffs still low but job openings fall further
Employers are holding onto workers with jobless claims still very low, but are listing fewer openings – perhaps indicating some easing in the demand for workers.
Retail sales up again for September, especially autos
Spending at retailers should increase by 0.5 percent, led by the already reported rise in light vehicle sales.
Housing starts likely to edge lower
A decline in housing starts driven by multifamily volatility belies further strength in single-family construction.
The trend in consumer inflation remains soft even as the ultra-low unemployment rate and improved consumer spending point to tighter labor and product markets. Lower energy costs again held back the consumer price index (CPI) for September. A flat reading for the month kept the 12-month change in the CPI at a low 1.7 percent. Headline inflation readings could continue to swing with energy costs in coming months, especially given the elevated tensions in the Middle East at present.