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Economy in Brief

U.S. PPI Continues Downward With Energy Prices; Core Weakens Further
by Tom Moeller  May 15, 2013

The producer price index for finished goods fell 0.7% last month (+0.7% y/y) and added to an unrevised 0.6% March shortfall. The decline roughly matched expectations for a 0.6% drop. Prices excluding food & energy ticked up an expected 0.1% (1.7% y/y). Energy prices led the decline in overall prices with a 2.5% drop (-3.3% y/y), adding to the 3.4% March decline. Gasoline prices fell 6.0% (-8.9% y/y) while home heating oil prices were off 8.8% (-11.7% y/y). Residential gas prices surged another 4.5% (10.4% y/y). Adding to the energy price declines was a 0.8% drop (+2.3% y/y) in food prices, reversing a 0.8% March increase. Beef costs dropped 3.8% (+0.9% y/y) but bakery product prices rose 0.3% (2.3% y/y).

Finished consumer goods prices dropped 1.0% (+0.6% y/y) but excluding food & energy, prices ticked up 0.1% (2.3% y/y). Within the components, women's clothing costs increased a substantial 2.3% y/y while men's apparel prices rose 1.8% y/y. Household appliance prices edged up just 0.1% y/y, furniture prices rose a steady 1.8% y/y but passenger car prices slipped 0.2% y/y. Capital equipment prices edged up a steady 0.1% (0.9% y/y).

Intermediate goods prices fell 0.6% (-0.9% y/y) as energy costs declined 2.1% (-4.7% y/y). Food prices were off 0.9% (+3.5% y/y) while core intermediate prices fell 0.2% (-0.2% y/y. Crude goods prices edged 0.4% lower (+3.4% y/y) last month led by a 2.6% decline (+5.8% y/y) in food prices. That was offset by a 3.7% rise (8.4% y/y) in energy prices. Prices excluding food & energy fell 2.8% (-5.9% y/y).

The PPI data are contained in Haver's USECON database with further detail in PPI and PPIR. The expectations figures are available in the AS1REPNA database. 

 

Producer Price Index (%) Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Finished Goods -0.7 -0.6 0.7 0.7 1.9 6.0 4.2
  Less Food & Energy 0.1 0.2 0.2 1.7 2.6 2.4 1.2
    Foods -0.8 0.8 -0.5 2.3 2.5 6.3 3.9
    Energy -2.5 -3.4 3.0 -3.3 -0.2 15.5 13.5
Intermediate Goods -0.6 -0.9 1.3 -0.9 0.5 9.0 6.4
  Less Food & Energy -0.2 0.2 0.7 -0.2 0.3 6.2 4.3
Crude Goods -0.4 -2.5 -0.3 3.4 -3.2 17.4 21.3
  Less Food & Energy -2.8 0.9 -1.7 -5.9 -5.2 18.5 32.5
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