Investors are in for a very busy week with economic data led by inflation and consumer prices.
The highlight of the week will be the Federal Reserve’s last scheduled policy meeting of the year, with central bankers expected to raise the overnight bank lending rate by half a percentage point on Wednesday after four consecutive meetings with aggressive hikes of 75 basis points. .
Another major topic this week will be the November Consumer Price Index report, which will be released at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
In that report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the consumer price index jumped 0.3% month-over-month in November, slightly below the 0.4% gain seen in September and October.
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On a year-over-year basis, look out for a report that will show prices rose 7.3% in November, down from October’s lower-than-expected 7.7% growth rate. That would be the lowest reading since January and the fifth consecutive month of slowing annual growth since June’s 9.1 percent jump, which marked the highest rate of inflation in nearly 41 years (November 1981).
Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the core consumer price index is expected to rise 0.3% in November, in line with October’s increase.
On an annual basis, the basic consumer price index is expected to increase by 6.1% in November. That’s down slightly from the 6.3 percent reading in October, which was lower than expected. It would also mark the second month of slowing growth since September’s 6.6 percent increase, the largest in 40 years (August 1982).
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The November producer price index report showed on Friday that growth in wholesale prices was slowing, but not as much as markets had expected. Shares sold off at least 0.7% to close at session lows, with the Dow ending the week at a one-month low.
Other key reports due Thursday include initial jobless claims and November retail sales.
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Additionally, keep an eye out for two major regional manufacturing reports and November industrial production data, also due out on Thursday.