In one more sign inflation isn’t budging, wholesale prices surged 10.8% in May from a year ago, near a record annual pace. The producer price index measures inflation before it reaches consumers. Consumer prices were also hot in May, rising 8.6% over the year, a fresh 40-year high.
As for wholesale goods, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said 40% of May’s price hike can be tied to gas prices, which are now even higher in June, setting a new all-time record Tuesday.
The latest numbers put even more pressure on the Federal Reserve to bring down inflation as it kicks off its 2-day policy meeting Tuesday. Last month, the Fed floated hiking its benchmark interest rate 50 basis points in June and July. But after the latest inflation numbers, some institutions are calling for more aggressive rate hikes, suggesting the Fed raise it 75 basis points this month. Raising the interest rate is a way to try to cool consumer demand and bring down prices.
Meanwhile, investor fears of stagflation are at the highest point since the 2008 financial crisis, according to a monthly Bank of America fund manager survey. Stagflation occurs when high inflation meets a stagnating economy, characterized by slow growth and higher unemployment.
On Monday, the stock market officially entered a bear market after the S&P 500 fell more than 20% below its January high. Markets remained little changed after the opening bell Tuesday as investors await the Fed’s inflation actions Wednesday.
SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: IN ONE MORE SIGN INFLATION ISN’T BUDGING, PRODUCER PRICES SURGED 10.8% IN MAY FROM A YEAR AGO.
THE INDEX MEASURES INFLATION BEFORE IT REACHES CONSUMERS – THINK WHOLESALE PRICES. REMEMBER CONSUMER PRICES WERE UP 8.6% IN MAY, A FRESH 40 YEAR HIGH.
THIS IS NOTABLE: 40% OF MAY’S PRICE HIKE IN WHOLESALE GOODS CAN BE TIED TO GAS PRICES, WHICH ARE NOW EVEN HIGHER IN JUNE, AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH.
THE LATEST NUMBERS PUT EVEN MORE PRESSURE ON THE FEDERAL RESERVE TO BRING DOWN INFLATION AS IT KICKS OFF ITS 2-DAY POLICY MEETING.
LAST MONTH THE FED FLOATED A HALF POINT RATE HIKE IN JUNE AND JULY. RAISING THE INTEREST RATE IS A WAY TO TRY TO COOL CONSUMER DEMAND AND BRING DOWN PRICES.
BUT AFTER INFLATION CAME IN HOTTER THAN EXPECTED – NOW THE STREET THINKS THERE’S A CASE FOR A MORE AGGRESSIVE THREE QUARTER POINT HIKE – WE’LL BRING YOU THE FED’S DECISION WEDNESDAY.
WALL STREET IS OFFICIALLY IN A BEAR MARKET AFTER MONDAY’S STOCK TUMBLE, WHILE INVESTORS’ FEARS OF STAGFLATION ARE AT THE HIGHEST POINT SINCE THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS, ACCORDING TO A BANK OF AMERICA SURVEY.
IN NEW YORK FOR JUST BUSINESS I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO.