A major Federal Reserve speech, ongoing inflation, a slowdown in consumer spending increases, higher GDP growth, and a new high-risk COVID-19 county in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will deliver a speech today at the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium, with the address expected to provide details on the central bank’s plans for tapering asset purchases. The monthly bond purchases have been an ongoing attempt to stabilize the economy, but there is increased pressure to roll them back as economic conditions improve.
The Personal Consumption Expenditures Index, the Fed’s preferred measure for inflation, increased 4.2 percent from the previous year in July and 0.3 percent from the previous month. The index is based on household spending on goods and services.
Consumer spending continued to increase in July, but at a much slower pace than in June. Spending was up 0.3 percent during the month, down from June’s 1.1 percent increase; incomes were up 1.1 percent in July.
The Commerce Department revised its figure for last quarter’s GDP growth, saying it increased at a 6.6 percent annual rate. The quick pace reflected increased consumer demand as well as more business investments.
Litchfield County’s COVID-19 transmission risk designation has been upgraded from substantial to high, the sixth Connecticut county to fall into this category. Tolland and Windham County are classified as substantial risk.