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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. import prices recorded their biggest drop in more than 1-1/2 years in August amid declines in the cost of fuels and a range of other goods, suggesting a strong dollar was curbing imported inflation pressures. The Labor Department said on Friday import prices fell 0.6 percent last month. That was the largest decline since January 2016 and followed a downwardly revised 0.1 percent dip in July. Import prices were previously reported to have been unchanged in July. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices falling 0.2 percent in August.
In the 12 months through August, import prices rose 3.7 percent, slowing after surging 4.9 percent in July, Last month, prices for imported fuels and lubricants fell 3.9 percent, the biggest drop since February 2016, after rising 1.0 percent in July, Food prices rose 0.4 percent in August after tumbling 1.6 percent in the prior month, Excluding fuels and food, import prices fell 0.2 percent last month sterling round moonstone stud set cufflinks after slipping 0.1 percent in July, The so-called core import prices advanced 1.3 percent in the 12 months through August, The monthly decline in core import prices likely reflects the strong dollar, which has gained more than six percent this year against the currencies of the United States’ main trade partners..
Dollar strength is expected to offset some of the anticipated increase in prices, especially if the Trump administration presses ahead with tariffs on nearly all Chinese imports. Washington has already slapped duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, provoking retaliation from Beijing. The import price data excludes duties. In August, import prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials dropped 0.8 percent after falling 1.1 percent in July. The cost of imported capital goods dipped 0.1 percent.
Imported motor vehicle prices were unchanged in August for a second straight month, The cost of consumer goods sterling round moonstone stud set cufflinks excluding automobiles was also unchanged after rising 0.3 percent in July, Prices for goods imported from China slipped 0.1 percent in August for a second straight month, Prices for Chinese imports gained 0.2 percent in the 12 months through August, The report also showed export prices fell 0.1 percent in August after declining 0.5 percent in July, Prices for agricultural products rose 0.2 percent last month, lifted by increases in soybean, wheat and corn prices..
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales recorded their smallest gain in six months in August as consumers cut back on purchases of motor vehicles and clothing, but upward revisions to July data likely keep intact expectations of strong economic growth in the third quarter. The Commerce Department said on Friday retail sales edged up 0.1 percent last month, the smallest rise since February. Data for July was revised higher to show sales rising 0.7 percent instead of the previously reported 0.5 percent gain.
The modest increase in retail sales suggests that high gasoline prices could be pulling spending away from other categories, Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales increasing 0.4 percent in August, Retail sales in August advanced 6.6 percent from a year ago, Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales nudged up 0.1 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.8 percent jump in July, These so-called core retail sales correspond most sterling round moonstone stud set cufflinks closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product..
Core retail sales were previously reported to have increased 0.5 percent in July. Despite the surprise slowdown in core retail sales in August, consumer spending remains supported by a tightening labor market, which is steadily pushing up wages. Annual wage growth increased at its fastest pace in more than nine years in August and there were a record 6.9 million job openings in July. Spending is also being underpinned by tax cuts and higher savings. The economy is poised for strong growth in the third quarter and this year, but an escalating trade war between the United States and China is casting a shadow on the long-term outlook.
President Donald Trump last week threatened duties on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods on top of a $200 billion tariff list that is awaiting his decision, Washington already has slapped duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, provoking retaliation from Beijing, The economy grew at a 4.2 percent annualized rate in the April-June period, the fastest in nearly four years and almost double the 2.2 sterling round moonstone stud set cufflinks percent pace set in the first quarter, Growth estimates for the third quarter top a 3.0 percent rate..