Afternoon Coffee: Natural Gas Prices Fall Due to High Inventory, Freight Shipment Activity Down in July

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Natural gas inventories increased 65 billion cubic feet in the week ending Aug. 7, which was more than expected and caused total inventories to climb above average levels. The increase in inventories also caused natural gas prices to fall today.

Both freight volumes and shipper spending fell in July. Shipment volumes dropped 1.6% from June and spending on freight shipments was down 4.5% from the previous month.

US business inventories increased during June by 0.8% – more than the 0.3% expected and the largest gain since January 2013. Retail inventories specifically, a new metric in the report from the Commerce Department, rose 0.9% during the month.

Retail sales, too, grew during July 0.6%. Bloomberg reported the “buying climate” may have improved recently, but consumer comfort regarding the economy and personal finances is relatively unchanged at 40.7.


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