A closely watched indicator of inflation increased for the third consecutive week in the week ending July 19, although it remained below its one-year average for the fifth consecutive week.
The Journal of Commerce-Economic Cycle Research Institute index registered 122.966 for the week ended July 19, up 0.88 of a point from 122.088 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 1.2796 percent. This was up from a negative 2.4772 percent last week.
The three weekly increases show the end of the index's long-term downward trend more clearly. 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.