PRODUCER PRICES UP
The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 1.7% for the year ended July 2019. While liquefied petroleum gas and egg prices declined 58.2% and 53.5%, respectively, producers’ cost of fresh and dry vegetables rose 43.3% year over year. Producer prices can indicate potential future inflation if producers pass their cost increases to consumers.
Americans are paying increasing tuition, room and board costs for a college education and, if they’re lucky, the degree will pay them back. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected annual salaries by educational degrees through 2026 and found that workers in management, computer and math, legal, and architecture and engineering fields will earn more than twice the median of $37,690 for all occupations. Most of these professions needed a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Speaking of college attainment, the oldest Millennials have outdone the youngest Boomers when it comes to attending college, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Almost three out of every four Millennials born between 1980 and 1984 attended some college, while 44% of the Boomers born from 1960 to 1964 did the same.
The National Federation of Independent Business’ July Small Business Optimism Index increased 1.4 points from the previous survey to 104.7. The organization’s Uncertainty Index fell 10 points, after surging in June to its highest level since March of 2017. Capital outlays were reported by 57% of owners, according to the survey, with about four in 10 of those purchasing new equipment, 25% acquiring vehicles and 16% improving or expanding facilities.