Positive news was delivered from the small business sector of the economy after the pandemic induced shutdown severely cut into sales while many employees were laid off. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 6.2 points to 100.6 after the sharp declines seen in March an April. Owners anticipate improving sales as the economy continues to re-open and continue to be optimistic about future business conditions and indicate they expect the recession to be short-lived.
In economic news, consumer prices rose in June as pent-up demand for goods and services resumed after the pandemic induced shutdown. Prices were impacted by higher food and gasoline costs. The June inflation reading Consumer Price Index rose 0.6% versus the 0.5% expected and up from a decline of 0.1% in May and the steep drop of 0.8% in April. However, underlying inflation is still muted and will be for some time, says the Federal Reserve, the Fed's favorite inflation gauge, the annual Core PCE, was 1.0% in May, well below the Fed's target range of 2.0%.
Low mortgage rates coupled with a lack of housing supply are producing bidding wars for homes across the nation. Redfin reports that a little than half of offers for homes were in bidding wars in June for the second straight month. The company said that nationwide, nearly 54% of Redfin offers faced bidding wars in June, up from almost 52% in May and 44% in April.
Redfin economist Taylor Marr said, "It's like a game of musical chairs where only the best bidders get a seat."