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Producer price index – What to know in markets Friday

Market participants will receive a gauge on U.S. producer price changes on Friday, a day after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell concluded testimony to Congress reiterating central bankers’ concerns of persistently below-target inflation.

The headline June producer price index (PPI) is expected to register as flat month-over-month for June, according to consensus economists polled by Bloomberg, retreating from a 0.1% month-over-month increase in May. The primary PPI is expected to have risen 1.6% for the month over last year, slower than the 1.8% year-over-year increase in May.

PPI, excluding volatile food and energy prices, is anticipated to have risen 0.2% month-over-month in June, matching May’s pace. The index is expected to have risen just 2.1% over last year in June, which would mark the slowest pace since July 2017. May’s 2.3% year-over-year increase in PPI, excluding food and energy prices, had been the slowest rate since January 2018.

The Labor Department’s PPI report, released at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday, comes a day after a gauge of underlying consumer prices for June was shown to have risen the most in more than a year. The core consumer price index (CPI), excluding food and energy prices, rose 0.3% in June over the month prior, exceeding expectations.

The CPI reading pointed to firmer inflationary pressures after months of muted consumer price rises.

However, the report did little to adjust market participants’ expectations for the Federal Reserve to cut benchmark interest rates at the end of July, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell in two days of congressional testimony reiterated central bankers’ concerns of persistently below-target inflation. The comments recapitulated sentiments central bank officials have expressed since their last meeting in June.

“As Powell also stated last month, ‘Committee participants expressed concerns about the pace of inflation’s return to 2%,’” Deutsche Bank economist Brett Ryan wrote in a note. “Hence, while we see a slight firming of core inflation trends in June, a meaningful upside surprise would likely be required for the Fed to change its tune.”

CPI and PPI are not the Fed’s preferred measures of underlying inflation in the U.S. economy – that designation is reserved for the core personal consumptions expenditures (PCE) price index, released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). However, subindices within Friday’s PPI report will help provide further insights into the results of the PCE index.

“We will be paying attention to subcategories, such as portfolio management and investment advice, health-care services, and air transportation, that are directly used by the BEA in their calculation of the PCE deflator,” Ryans said. “Within the May core PCE print, strength in categories from the PPI generally served to offset the weakness from categories taken from the CPI.”

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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