U.S. Consumer Price Inflation Data In Line With Estimates In May

The Commerce Department released closely watched consumer price inflation data on Friday, with the readings for the month of May coming in line with economist estimates.

The report said the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index came in unchanged in May after rising by 0.3 percent in April. The unchanged reading matched expectations.

The core PCE price index, which excludes food and energy prices, inched up by 0.1 percent in May after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.3 percent in April.

Economists had expected the core PCE price index to tick up by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.2 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The Commerce Department said the annual rates of growth by the PCE price index and the core PCE price index both slowed to 2.6 percent from 2.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. The slowdowns also matched estimates.

“We anticipate that the welcomed cooling in inflation and less frothy economic activity leads the Fed to cut interest rates starting in September and to lower the fed funds rate by a total of 50bps by year-end,” said Nationwide Chief Economist Kathy Bostjancic. “We forecast that this helps pave the way for a desired soft-landing for the economy.”

The readings on inflation, which are said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve, were included in the Commerce Department’s report on personal income and spending.

The report said personal income climbed by 0.5 percent in May after rising by 0.3 percent in April. Economists had expected personal income to increase by 0.4 percent.

Disposable personal income, or personal income less personal current taxes, also climbed by 0.5 percent in May after rising by 0.3 percent in April.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said personal spending rose by 0.2 percent in May after inching up by a revised 0.1 percent in April.

Economists had expected personal spending to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding price changes, personal spending increased by 0.3 percent in May after edging down by 0.1 percent in April.

With income climbing by more than spending, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal rose to 3.9 percent in May from 3.7 percent in April.

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