Powerless Pricing

importsImport prices fell 1.2% in December, led by a 10% decline in petroleum prices. Excluding energy, import prices still fell 0.3%. During CY2015, import prices fell 8.2%; non-fuel imports declined 3.4%. These deflationary numbers, along with the continuing decline in producer prices, is damping already painfully low inflation expectations. This will reduce to, at most, three from four the number of quarter-point rises in the fed funds rate in 2016.

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