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Inflation Now: ISM, Philly Fed Inflation Indicators Hit Seven-Year Highs

MarketWatch  ( Original )
APR 20, 2018

The price of every commodity that the Institute for Supply Management measures went up last month or at least the second month in a row.

For the second month in a row. The price of exactly zero went down. For the second month in a row. Inflation is now.

A handful of business surveys indicate companies are paying more for a variety of raw or partly finished goods. One of them is steel thanks to recently announced Trump administration tariffs on foreign imports.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s regional business index, for example, showed that what companies pay for their supplies hit the highest level since 2011.

A national survey of manufacturers, meanwhile, found that the cost of supplies also touched a seven-year high, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Small businesses also say costs are rising, especially for labor. The number of small firms that say they are raising pay and benefits for workers climbed to the highest level since 2000, the National Federation of Independent Business said.

If these trends remain intact, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation barometer known the PCE index is likely to reach or exceed 2% very soon on a yearly basis.

Inflation in the 12 months ending February was 1.8%, according to the PCE. Just a few years ago the yearly rate was nearly zero.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Signs of higher inflation are popping up everywhere by Jeffrey Bartash at MarketWatch on 4/19/18