Fed Chair Powell grilled by grouchy senators over inflation and climate change, even as economy rebounds

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CNBC 15 July, 2021 - 02:09pm 24 views

When is Powell testimony?

Powell will testify to the House Financial Services Committee at noon on Wednesday and on Thursday, he will appear before the Senate Banking Committee at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. MarketWatchPowell will stress patience in Capitol Hill testimony this week

Import prices climb 1% in June as Americans pay more for foreign goods

MarketWatch 15 July, 2021 - 08:04am

The import price index jumped 1% last month, the government said Thursday, matching the estimate of economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Import prices have climbed 11.2% over the past 12 months, down a bit from 11.6% in May. The yearly increase in May was the fastest since 2011.

These increases are feeding into biggest burst of inflation in the U.S. in 13 years. Consumer prices have surged 5.4% in the past 12 months, outpacing the growth in wages and pinching household budgets.

Read: The cost of living posts biggest increase since 2008 as inflation spreads through economy

And: Why used-car prices are driving U.S. inflation higher — and why it won’t last

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell admitted on Wednesday that inflation has risen faster than the central bank expected, but he repeated his longstanding belief that prices will subside by next year as the economy returns closer to normal.

Read: Fed’s Powell sticks to view that inflation will subside

The Fed has blamed the spike in prices on the reopening of the economy and ensuing flood of pentup demand at a time when global supply lines are still being disrupted by the pandemic. Businesses can’t get enough supplies on time or at reasonable prices.

Read: Fed admits inflation rose much higher than expected, but it still insists price increases are temporary

The increase in import prices in June was strongest among oil and other fossil fuels, but the cost of most industrial and consumer goods rose. Hardly any prices fell.

Excluding fuel, import prices 0.7% last month.

U.S. export prices increased 1.2% in June.

As the U.S. government sends out up to $300 a month per child to millions of families beginning Thursday, the payments could end up coming for years rather than fading away next year as planned, according to some analysts and advocates.

Jeffry Bartash is a reporter for MarketWatch in Washington.

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