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Economy in Brief

U.S. Producer Price Inflation Moderates in April
by Tom Moeller  May 12, 2022

• Services prices hold steady.

• Core goods prices remain strong.

• Energy & food prices soar again.

The Producer Price Index for Final Demand increased 0.5% during April following a record 1.6% increase during March. The y/y increase in the PPI overall moderated slightly to 11.0%. A 0.6% increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The series dates back to November 2009.

Prices less food & energy increased 0.4% (8.8% y/y) after increasing 1.2% in March. A 0.7% rise had been expected. The PPI excluding food, energy & trade services rose 0.6% following a near-record 0.9% (6.9% y/y) increase in March.

The gain in the PPI overall was held back by an unchanged level of services prices, following a 1.2% March increase. They rose 8.1% y/y. A 0.5% decline in trade services prices held back the overall change, off from a 1.9% March increase. Services prices less trade, transportation & warehousing eased 0.1% in April (+3.2% y/y) after rising 0.3% in March.

Energy prices ratcheted up yet again, rising 1.7% (40.0% y/y) following a 6.4% March rise. Food prices soared 1.5% in April (16.3% y/y) after significant gains in the prior three months.

Prices for final demand finished goods less food & energy increased 1.0% (10.1% y/y). Finished consumer goods prices less food & energy rose 0.8% in April (8.0% y/y) following a 0.7% increase. Durable consumer goods prices rose 0.9% last month (8.9% y/y) after three months of similar increase. Core nondurable consumer goods prices rose 0.7% (7.5% y/y) following a 0.5% March increase. Prices for private capital equipment jumped 1.2% (9.3% y/y) after rising 0.8% in March.

Construction product prices strengthened 4.0% (19.6% y/y) after rising 0.6% in March.

Intermediate goods prices jumped 2.2% (21.9% y/y) due to a 4.5% gain (44.9% y/y) in processed fuel costs.

The PPI data are published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and can be found in Haver's USECON database. Further detail is contained in PPI and PPIR. The expectations figures are available in the AS1REPNA database.

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