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PPI Edges Up in June

Zacks Equity Research

Following a fresh read on June’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) yesterday morning, today we see the other side of the coin: Producer Price Index (PPI), also for June — and it also came out slightly ahead of expectations: +0.1% growth on the headline, compared with -0.1% expected and in-line with +0.1% in May.

Stripping out volatile food and energy costs, this print rises to +0.3% — also higher than expected. Month-over-month PPI was a bit cooler: unchanged versus +0.2% expected. Still, the past two days have brought inflation-tracking economic data that does not illustrate a slow implosion in the domestic market; in fact, we see moderate growth much as we’ve seen over the past several years.

Year over year, headline PPI grew 1.7%, with core +2.3%. These numbers, as yesterday’s CPI reads demonstrated, are not blowing anybody away with gangbuster pricing strength, but they are firm and steady — and in the right direction. In fact, the core read at +2.3% represents the 23rd straight month of core PPI growth at 2% or higher. This pretty much epitomizes consistency.

Consolidation in Electric, Autonomous Vehicles

Ford (F) and Volkswagen have announced they’re joining forces in both electric vehicle (EV) and self-driving integrated technology. Volkswagen’s extensive EV tech will now be shared with Ford, which had previously been criticized by analysts for not doing enough development in that space.

Volkswagen will also be investing $2.6 billion in Pittsburgh, PA-based Argo A.I., a self-driving integrated platform company valued at $7 billion overall. This will be the new trans-continental auto industry venture’s major move against self-driving progress with company’s like Alphabet’s GOOGL Waymo and Tesla TSLA. Ford shares moved up on the news in today’s pre-market.

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