Money Minute Wednesday 9 October: Japan’s “pipeline inflation”

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In the US latest today, the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent interest-rate setting meeting are released. As usual, the minutes will be picked over in great detail. Small shifts in language, or in the forecasts of individual members, can be made to seem extremely important by commentators and analysts.

However, the reality is that they have been superseded by events and probably have little relevance for the Fed’s next interest rate decision at the end of this month.

And looking ahead to early tomorrow morning, we’ll get data on producer price inflation and on machinery orders from Japan. Producer prices – often described as “pipeline inflation” – are still falling on an annual basis in Japan, and analysts expect that to have continued in September.  Data for machinery orders shows how much equipment Japanese businesses have ordered. It gives an idea of how optimistic they are about future demand.

The data tends to be very volatile from one month to another. However overall the figure has been trending higher.