If by now it is not apparent to everyone that America's Economic woes are increasing not decreasing; the Economy is in Depression not even a Recession, then the people who cannot see the obvious are truly living in denial. Economic Collapse always leads to social unrest, revolutions and wars. I believe we will see all these things in the near future, possibly the very near future, possibly this year.
Applications for unemployment benefits continued to rise in the past week, while inflation pushed higher and a key manufacturing index weakened.
The consumer price index, meanwhile, gained 0.4 percent when including volatile food and energy prices, after an increase of 0.5 percent in July. The so-called core CPI, though, gained 0.2 percent, which was in line with expectations.
Consumers paid more for a range of goods and services last month, pushing up inflation and squeezing Americans' purchasing power.
For the 12 months ending in August, the core index surged 2 percent, the biggest year-over-year increase in nearly three years. That's at the top end of the Federal Reserve's informal inflation target. It could limit the central bank's ability to take further steps to try to revive the economy.
Food prices rose 0.5 percent, the biggest increase since March. That was due to higher prices for cereals and dairy products. Energy costs increased 1.2 percent.
Other indicators from a major government data release this moring also were not not encouraging: New York manufacturing activity contracted in September for the fourth consecutive month.
Also, the US current account deficit narrowed unexpectedly to $118 billion in the second quarter from a revised $119.6 billion in the first quarter as exports hit a record high.
Jobs Market Languishing
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level in three months.
Applications have been rising over the past month, a signal that the job market remains depressed.
Applications typically drop during short work weeks, as was the case with the Labor Day observation. In this case, applications didn't drop as much as the department expected, so the seasonally adjusted value rose. A Labor spokesman said the total wasn't affected by Hurricane Irene.
Still, applications appear to be trending up. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose for the fourth straight week to 419,500.
Applications need to fall below 375,000 to indicate that hiring is increasing enough to lower the unemployment rate. They haven't been below that level since February.
The economy added zero net jobs in August, the worst showing since September 2010. The unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent for the second straight month.
The job figures were weak because companies hired fewer workers and not because they stepped up layoffs, economists said. Business and consumer confidence fell last month after a series of events renewed recession fears.