The morning’s major economic news:
– Inflation. Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in June from May, fueled by a 2.9 percent surge in the price of energy products, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. As drivers can confirm, a 7.2 percent jump in the cost of gasoline was responsible for most of that boost.
Reuters says the overall increase in wholesale prices was “more than expected” and may be a sign that the economy is picking up speed — which in turn could mean that the Federal Reserve will soon feel it can stop trying to give the economy a boost.
– The Fed. Bloomberg News reports that “Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers is indicating to President Barack Obama’s Wall Street supporters that he wants to become Federal Reserve chairman, according to people familiar with the matter, as he keeps in touch with senators who would vote on the nomination.”
Summers was Treasury secretary in the later years of the Clinton administration, and was a top economic adviser to President Obama during his first term in office.
Bernanke’s second term as chairman expires Jan. 31, 2014. It’s thought he does not want to stay on and that President Obama will be looking for a new person to lead the central bank.