Consumer Prices, Personal Income, Factory Orders Rise

By Vivian Marino, Ap | THE JOURNAL RECORD, July 24, 1986 | Go to article overview

Consumer Prices, Personal Income, Factory Orders Rise


Vivian Marino, Ap, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in June for the steepest increase since November, personal income advanced only fractionally, and orders to U.S. factories for large durable goods rose 2.1 percent, the government said Wednesday.

The consumer price increase followed a 0.2 percent gain in May and was caused largely by rising food and gasoline costs, the Labor Department said.

However, for the first half of 1986, prices are down at an annual rate of 0.2 percent, their best performance in more than three decades, the department said. And inflation at the retail level for the entire year is now expected to be 2 percent or less.

The gain in orders for durable goods was the first increase in four months and the biggest advance since December.

The Commerce Department said that orders for items expected to last three or more years totaled $104.8 billion last month, $2.2 billion higher than the previous month.

In another report, the Commerce Department said personal income rose a tiny 0.1 percent in June while consumer spending rose by a more robust 0.6 percent.

The slight rise in income followed a revised 0.3 percent drop in May from a previously reported 0.1 percent slippage. Commerce Department analysts blamed the slow growth on reductions in subsidy payments to farmers and a monthlong strike against American Telephone and Telegraph Co.

The personal income report said that personal consumption spending, which includes consumer payments for nearly everthing except interest on debt, increased 0.6 percent in June after a 0.7 percent increase in May.

On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that the economy grew at the slowest pace in more than three years during the second quarter, casting doubt on Reagan administration predictions that a substantial pickup is just ahead.

The gross national product - the broadest measure of economic health - expanded at an annual rate of 1.1 percent from April through June, less than one-third the 3.8 percent growth rate turned in during the first three months of the year, the department said.

Meanwhile, oil prices fell in a selloff linked to the expiration of the August sales contract in futures trading, revealing what analysts said is the basic weakness of the market. …

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