Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings on inflation and retail sales. Weekly reports on mortgage
rates and new and continuing jobless claims were also released. In other news, the FHFA announced an increase in
fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for home loan refinance transactions.
Inflation Readings Mixed as Retail Sales Fall
Consumer prices rose by 0.60 percent in July and matched June’s reading. Analysts expected a July reading of 0.40
percent growth. The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, rose by 0.60
percent in July and exceeded June’s reading of 0.20 percent and July’s expected reading of 0.20 percent price
Retail sales dropped to 1,20 percent growth in July as compared to June’s reading of 8.40 percent growth. July’s
retail sales reading fell short of the expected rate of 2.00 percent. Retail sales excluding the automotive sector rose
by 1.90 percent in July as compared to June’s retail sales growth rate of 8.30 percent Declining retail sales were
likely caused by a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in some areas.
State and local guidance on retail re-openings varied and likely impacted retail sales according to how Covid-19
regulations were interpreted and enforced. The federal governme