Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George, in a wide-ranging exclusive interview, argued that tapering should happen ‘sooner rather than later’ and predicted ‘high growth’ for the U.S. economy this year.

The core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, accelerated last month by the most on an annual basis in 30 years.

Core PCE, which excludes food and energy, rose 3.6% year over year in July, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the most since 1991. Last month’s reading was revised up to 3.6% growth from 3.5%.

Prices rose 0.3% on a monthly basis as the pace of gains declined for a second straight month. Prices increased 0.5% in June and 0.6% in May.

AT FED’S JACKSON HOLE MEETING, POWELL UNLIKELY TO PROVIDE TAPERING ROADMAP FOR INVESTORS

Both readings were in line with economists surveyed by Refinitiv who were anticipating prices would rise 3.6% annually and 0.3% month over month.

Overall, the personal consumption expenditures price index rose 4.2% year over year and 0.4% in July. Last month, prices increased at a 4% annual pace and 0.5% month over month.

Supply chain disruptions, increased labor costs and materials shortages have caused a number of companies to increase prices as the U.S. economy looks to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has said the recent rise in prices is “transitory” and that the gains will dissipate once the supply-chain issues are resolved. However, he could not say when pricing pressures might lessen.

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Friday’s report puts inflation squarely in focus as Powell is set to deliver his speech at the virtually held Jackson Hole symposium. Investors will be paying close attention for clues as to when the central bank might begin tapering its asset purchases and raising interest rates.

 

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By Harry