New York Empire State factory gauge plunges in August deep into contraction territory

New York Empire State factory gauge plunges in August deep into contraction territory

The numbers: The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index, a gauge of manufacturing activity in the state, plummeted 42.4 points to negative 31.3 in August, the regional Fed bank said Monday. This is the second largest monthly decline on record and among the lowest levels in the survey’s history, the regional Fed bank … Read more

US consumer price inflation surprises to downside in July

US consumer price inflation surprises to downside in July

The numbers: The US consumer price index was unchanged in July, the Labor Department said Wednesday, compared with the 1.3% gain in the prior month. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated a 0.2% advance in July. The rate of inflation in the 12 months ended in July retired to 8.5% from a … Read more

Why China-Taiwan tensions moved to the forefront of financial market worries

Why China-Taiwan tensions moved to the forefront of financial market worries

It’s an island off the coast of China, with a land area comparable to Maryland and Delaware combined. Its population is about 1 million higher than that of Florida. Often overlooked in world headlines, Taiwan is grabbing the financial market’s attention as the biggest macro risk of the day, prompting many traders and investors to … Read more

US inflation surges again and stays at 40-year high, key price gauge shows

US inflation surges again and stays at 40-year high, key price gauge shows

The numbers: A key gauge of US inflation rose a sharp 1% in June, led by higher fuel prices, in a sign that price pressures in the economy are still intense and unlikely to relent quickly. The increase in the so-called personal-consumption price index exceeded Wall Street’s forecast. Economists had predicted a 0.9% advance. A … Read more

Powell says no guarantee of soft landing for US economy

Powell says no guarantee of soft landing for US economy

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday said there was no guarantee that the central bank can engineer a soft landing for the US economy. “We think that there are pathways for us to achieve the path back to 2% inflation while still retaining a strong labor market. We believe we can do that,” Powell said, … Read more

Rising rents, gas and food prices push US inflation rate to 8.6%, CPI shows

Rising rents, gas and food prices push US inflation rate to 8.6%, CPI shows

The numbers: The cost of living jumped 1% in May on the back of higher rents, gas and food prices, pushing the rate of US inflation to a 40-year high of 8.6%. The increase in the consumer price index in May was more than triple the gain in the prior month. Economists polled by The … Read more

US gains 428,000 jobs in April and wages rise again — but labor force shrinks

US gains 428,000 jobs in April and wages rise again — but labor force shrinks

The numbers: The US added a solid 428,000 new jobs in April, but an acute labor shortage showed little improvement last month and threatens to add to the highest inflation in 40 years. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast 400,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%, the government said … Read more

US inflation rate surges to 6.6%, PCE index shows, but prices might also be peaking

US inflation rate surges to 6.6%, PCE index shows, but prices might also be peaking

The numbers: The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation rose a sharp 0.9% in March, but the increase largely stemmed from a surge in the cost of gas and there were some signs that intense price pressures could be starting to ease. Over the past 12 months, the personal consumption price index has climbed 6.6%, … Read more

What’s next for stock market as Federal Reserve moves toward ‘peak hawkishness’

What’s next for stock market as Federal Reserve moves toward ‘peak hawkishness’

Investors will watch for another gauge of US inflation in the week ahead after the stock market was rattled by the Federal Reserve ramping up its hawkish tone and suggesting large interest rate hikes are coming to get an overheating economy under control. “We’re probably seeing peak hawkishness right now,” said James Solloway, chief market … Read more

Fed chief Powell backs moving more quickly on interest-rate hikes

Fed chief Powell backs moving more quickly on interest-rate hikes

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday joined the chorus of US central bankers who want to move faster on raising interest rates. “It is appropriate in my view to be moving a little more quickly,” Powell said during a discussion hosted by the International Monetary Fund in Washington. “I also think there’s something in … Read more