Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Producer Price Index
The Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods was flat in March, following an annualized increase of 4.4 percent in February. Interestingly, energy prices slipped down 11.0 percent in March, following a 17.3 percent spike up in Februrary. Producer prices for finished consumer foods rose a modest 1.8 percent in March. On a year-over-year basis, the headline PPI is up 2.8 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 rose 3.4 percent in March, after rising 2.0 percent in February. The near-term (3-month) annnualized growth rate in the core PPI edged up from 3.2 percent to 3.6 percent in March, slightly above its 12-month growth rate of 2.9 percent. Further back on the production line, pricing pressure was to the upside, as core intermediate goods prices jumped up 7.0 percent and volatile core crude goods prices rose 14.4 percent in March.