Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Producer Price Index
The Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods rose at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent in January, reversing a 1.2 percent decrease in December. The headline increase came as decreasing food and energy prices were offset by increases elsewhere in the index. In January, energy prices slipped down 6.0 percent (their fourth straight monthly decline) and food prices slipped down 3.6 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the headline PPI is up 4.1 percent, which is above its longer-term (20-year) growth rate of 2.3 percent, but is well off its recent cyclical high of 7.2 percent set last September. Excluding food and energy prices, the “core” PPI jumped up 5.5 percent in January, following a 3.4 percent increase in December. These back-to-back increases pushed up the series’ near-term (3-month) growth rate from 0.9 percent to 3.2 percent during the month, in line with its 12-month growth rate of 3.0 percent. Further back on the production line, pricing pressure was relatively subdued, as core intermediate goods prices fell for the fourth consecutive month (down 0.6 percent in January); and the volatile core crude goods series rose 7.5 percent. On a year-over-year basis, core intermediate goods are up 2.7 percent. And core crude goods prices are virtually unchanged from last January.