Inflation jumps in June on increased fuel costs

The "official" inflation rate jumped to 0.5% in June due to a spike in fuel costs, says the Labor Department. Bloomberg: The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.3 percent rise. The biggest advance in gasoline prices in four months accounted for about two-thirds of the gain the in the CPI. The core measure, which excludes food and fuel, rose 0.2 percent, matching the May gain and the survey median. Some retailers such as Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR) are prepared to reduce prices to attract shoppers should demand weaken. Inflation readings closer to the Fed's goal will give the central bank the flexibility to move forward later this year with reductions in its monthly asset purchases designed to stoke the economy. "This is probably going to be a little bit comforting for some of the folks at the Fed who are worried about lower inflation," said Omair Sharif, an economist at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, who correctly forecast the CPI....(Read Full Post)