Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
The Producer Price Index for finished goods rebounded from a 6.5 percent (annualized rate) decrease in February, jumping up 8.4 percent in March. Food prices jumped up 32.5 percent in March, accounting for “over 70 percent of the increase” in the overall index according to the BLS. Energy prices also rose during the month, increasing 9.1 percent following a 29.6 percent decline in February. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the “core” PPI was virtually unchanged in March, rising just 0.7 percent, and is up 1.9 percent over the past three months. Over the past 12 months, the headline PPI is up 6.0 percent, but the core PPI is up a paltry 0.9 percent. Further back on the line of production there was some evidence of pricing pressure, as core intermediate goods prices increased 9.1 percent and core crude goods prices jumped up 101 percent. Over the past 12 month these volatile series are up 4.0 percent and 44.6 percent, respectively.