The latest indicators continue to show a mixed picture on the economic outlook.
US August Inflation Mild, Job Claims Rise
U.S. consumer prices inched up just 0.1 percent last month as gasoline and car prices tumbled, the government said on Thursday in a report suggesting an inflation spike earlier this year was an aberration. A separate report showed initial claims for jobless benefits gained less than expected last week, implying the job market was a touch stronger than analysts had thought. For the first time in weeks, the claims data appeared unaffected by hurricanes, the Labor Department said.
Like the overall consumer price index, the so-called core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, also moved up just 0.1 percent, the department said. The report presented a tamer inflation picture than Wall Street had expected. Economists had looked for a mild 0.1 percent gain in the overall CPI, the most widely used gauge of U.S. inflation, but had expected the core index to rise 0.2 percent...
First-time claims for state unemployment aid rose 16,000 to 333,000 in the week ended Sept. 11 from a revised 317,000 a week earlier, the department said. Wall Street had looked for claims to rise more sharply to 340,000.
There is still little sign of inflation. This is more consistent with a softening economy rather than an accelerating one. The moderate rise in first-time unemployment claims is a good sign, though.
The low inflation figures may moderate Federal Reserve interest rate hikes going forward. It's questionable, though, that that is necessarily good for stocks if it reflects a weak economy.