A closely watched indicator of inflation saw its second straight week-to-week increase, although it remained below its one-year average for the fourth consecutive week.
The Journal of Commerce-Economic Cycle Research Institute index registered 122.09 for the week ended July 12, up 0.85 of a point from 121.24 last week.
The index's growth rate, which compares the latest week's index with its average over the previous 52 weeks, was a negative 2.4772 percent. The two weekly increases, however, suggest that the index's long-term downward trend has stopped. A sustained rise in the index would raise expectations for a rebound in industrial production.
The index, compiled by the Economic Cycle Research Institute, is based on prices of a broad assortment of raw materials used in industrial production. Since its creation in the mid-1980s the IPI has been a leading indicator of industrial production and inflation rates.