- The CPI rose 5.4% in June on an annual basis
- U.S. retail sales rose 0.6% in June over the prior month
- The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 2.9 points to 102.5 in June
Top Three Market Headlines
Inflation Measures Accelerate in June: The Labor Department reported last week that June's Consumer Price Index rose 0.9% from the prior month and 5.4% from a year ago, the highest annual rate since August 2008. The “core” CPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy categories, also increased 0.9% on the month, and was up 4.5% from last year, its fastest annual pace since November 1991. Surging used car prices once again had a meaningful impact, accounting for more than one-third of June's monthly increase. Meanwhile, the Producer Price Index, which measures prices received by domestic producers for their products, rose 1.0% on the month and 7.3% annually as higher commodity prices and increased labor costs are driving up the cost of goods.
Retail Sales Rise In June: Sales at retail establishments rose moderately in June, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Data showed that sales at online retailers, restaurants, and brick-and-mortar stores increased 0.6% from the prior month, with the biggest gains registered by bars and restaurants, reflecting growing demand as many COVID-19 restrictions end nationwide. While retail sales fell dramatically in the spring of 2020 in the wake of business and consumer lockdowns, they have rebounded strongly since, evidenced by the fact that June's level of sales were 18% higher than their pre-pandemic level in February 2020.
Small Business Sentiment Strengthens in June: Optimism among small business owners in the U.S. strengthened in June after pausing in May, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, which is based on surveys of small business owners, rose 2.9 points to 102.5 in June, an eighth-month high and the first time exceeding 100 since November 2020. As 46% of owners reported struggles to fill job vacancies, a record 39% of owners raised wages to try to fill their open positions. Labor and inflation remain the top concerns of business owners, according to the June survey.