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Producer Prices Rose by 0.4 Percent in October for the Second Straight Month

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that producer prices for final demand goods and services rose by 0.4 percent in October for the second straight month. For manufacturers, producer prices for final demand goods were up by 0.2 percent for the third consecutive release. The gain in October stemmed largely from an acceleration in food prices, up 0.5 percent and its fastest monthly increase since June. On the other hand, energy costs were unchanged in October following robust hurricane-related gains in both August and September. On a year-over-year basis, final demand food and energy costs have risen 2.6 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. Excluding food and energy, producer prices for final demand goods were up by 0.3 percent in October.

Overall, producer prices for final demand goods and services have increased 2.7 percent since October 2016, up from 2.5 percent year-over-year last month and a pace not seen since February 2012. Raw material costs have accelerated over the course of the past 12 months, as the year-over-year rate was 1.2 percent one year ago. Nonetheless, core producer prices – which exclude food, energy and trade services – continue to be modest at 2.2 percent, up from 2.1 percent in September. For comparison purposes, core producer prices were 1.6 percent year-over-year in October 2016.

Consumer Prices Accelerated for the Second Straight Month, Led by Energy Costs

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that consumer prices rose by 0.5 percent in September, extending the 0.4 percent gain seen in August and rising at the fastest monthly rate since January. The uptick over the past two months has come primarily from higher energy costs, up 2.8 percent and 6.1 percent in August and September, respectively. Gasoline prices led the increases, increasing 6.3 percent and 13.1 percent in those months, with recent hurricanes helping to accelerate those costs. At the same time, food prices edged up 0.1 percent, primarily from food purchased away from home. Since September 2016, food and energy costs have increased 1.2 percent and 10.1 percent, respectively.

Overall, the consumer price index (CPI) increased 2.2 percent year-over-year in September, up from 1.9 percent in August and a five-month high. Pricing pressures had picked up earlier in the year but had waned over the summer months. As noted above, the pickup in inflation has mostly come from the uptick in energy costs. Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy costs, inched up 0.1 percent in September, or 1.7 percent year-over-year. As such, overall pricing pressures remain modest—even with the recent pickup—and mostly under control for now. Nonetheless, the Federal Open Market Committee is still likely to raise short-term interest rates at its December 12–13 meeting, mostly on improvements in the macroeconomy and from general tightening in labor markets.

Producer Prices Rose by 0.4 Percent in September on Higher Energy Costs

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that producer prices for final demand goods and services rose by 0.4 percent in September, its fastest pace since April. For manufacturers, producer prices for final demand goods were up by 0.2 percent for the second straight release. The gain in September stemmed largely from an acceleration in energy prices, up 3.4 percent, extending the 3.3 percent gain seen in August. Indeed, the cost of West Texas intermediate crude rose from $47.26 per barrel on August 31 to $51.67 a barrel on September 29, helping to illustrate the recent increases in energy costs for producers. A fair share of the pickup in energy prices stem from recent hurricanes, perhaps making them transitory in nature. Read More

Consumer Prices Picked Up at Fastest Monthly Rate Since January, Remain Modest Overall

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that consumer prices rose by 0.4 percent in August, the fastest monthly rate since January. The uptick stemmed largely from higher energy costs, which increased by 2.8 percent in August, ending three months of declines, with gasoline prices up 6.3 percent. (It is important to note that this run-up in energy prices pre-dates Hurricanes Harvey or Irma and their effects on the market.) At the same time, food prices edged up 0.1 percent, mostly from food purchased away from home. Since August 2016, food and energy costs have increased 1.1 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.

Overall, the consumer price index (CPI) increased 1.9 percent year-over-year in August, up from 1.7 percent in July. Pricing pressures had accelerated over much of the past year, increasing from 1.1 percent year-over-year in August 2016 to 2.8 percent year-over-year in February. However, inflation has cooled since then, even with the more-recent increases in energy costs noted above. Read More

Producer Prices Rose by 0.2 Percent in August

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that producer prices for final demand goods and services rose by 0.2 percent in August, bouncing back from a decline of 0.1 percent in July. For manufacturers, producer prices for final demand goods were also up by 0.2 percent after being flat in the prior release. The gain in August stemmed largely from an acceleration in energy prices, up 3.3 percent, the first monthly increases since April. Those rises were enough to offset a 1.3 percent decrease in food prices for the month. On a year-over-year basis, final demand food and energy costs have risen 1.8 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively. Excluding food and energy, producer prices for final demand goods were also up by 0.2 percent.   Read More

Consumer Prices Unchanged in June, Continue to Decelerate Year-Over-Year

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer prices were flat in June. Energy prices decreased 1.6 percent, falling for the fourth time in the past five months, with gasoline prices off 2.8 percent in June. This was largely consistent with data from the Energy Information Administration, which noted that the weekly average price for regular conventional gasoline was $2.308 on May 29 but fell to $2.201 on June 26. In contrast, food prices were flat for the month, with higher costs for meats, poultry, fish and eggs offset by lower prices in other categories. Over the past 12 months, food and energy costs have increased 0.9 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Overall, the consumer price index increased 1.6 percent year-over-year in June, its lowest rate since October. This suggests that the acceleration in pricing pressures that peaked at a 2.8 percent year-over-year rate in February has slowed since then. With that said, year-over-year consumer inflation was 1.0 percent in June 2016, suggesting that overall prices have still trended slightly higher over the past year despite some deceleration in that pace over the past few months.

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Producer Prices Edged up 0.1 Percent in June but Pulled Back Year-Over-Year to 2.0 Percent

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that producer prices for final demand goods and services edged up 0.1 percent in June, accelerating ever-so-slightly after being unchanged in May. For manufacturers, producer prices for final demand goods rose by 0.2 percent, rebounding from a decline of 0.1 percent in the prior release. The gain stemmed largely from increased food prices, up 1.2 percent, led by higher costs for dairy, grains and meats. At the same time, energy prices pulled back for the second straight month, down 0.6 percent. On a year-over-year basis, final demand food and energy costs have risen 1.2 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively. Excluding food and energy, producer prices for final demand goods were also up 0.1 percent.

Overall, producer prices for final demand goods and services have increased 2.0 percent since May 2016, continuing to ease from April’s 2.5 percent year-over-year pace, which was the fastest pace since February 2012. That represents a notable acceleration in inflationary pressures after being unchanged in August, and yet, this latest figure suggests that the pickup has stabilized, at least for now. In a similar way, core producer prices – which exclude food, energy and trade services – have grown 2.1 percent over the past 12 months, the same rate as seen in both April and May.

Consumer Prices in May Reflect Some Slowing in Inflationary Pressures

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent in May, falling for the second time in the past three months. The lower figure mainly stemmed from reduced energy costs, down 2.7 percent, with gasoline prices off 6.4 percent. In contrast, food prices increased 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month. Over the past 12 months, food and energy costs have increased 0.9 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. Overall, the consumer price index increased 1.9 percent year-over-year in May, its first reading below 2 percent since November. This suggests that the acceleration in pricing pressures that peaked at a 2.8 percent year-over-year rate in February has slowed since then. With that said, year-over-year consumer inflation was 1.0 percent in May 2016, suggesting that overall prices have still trended higher over the longer term.

Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy costs, edged up 0.1 percent in May, mirroring its increase in April. Excluding food and energy costs, consumer prices have risen 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, pulling back from 2.0 percent in March and 1.9 percent in April. As such, overall pricing pressures remain modest and mostly under control for now.

Producer Prices Were Unchanged in May

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that producer prices for final demand goods and services were unchanged in May, pulling back from a 0.5 percent gain in April. For manufacturers, producer prices for final demand goods edged down 0.1 percent in May, only slightly offsetting the April 0.7 percent increase. Both food and energy costs were lower, down 0.2 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively. On a year-over-year basis, final demand food and energy costs have risen 1.0 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Excluding food and energy, producer prices for final demand goods were up 0.1 percent.

Overall, producer prices for final demand goods and services have increased 2.4 percent since May 2016, easing a bit from April’s 2.5 percent year-over-year pace, which was the fastest pace since February 2012. That represents a notable acceleration in inflationary pressures after being unchanged in August, and yet, this latest figure suggests that the pickup has stabilized, at least for now. In a similar way, core producer prices – which exclude food, energy and trade services – have grown 2.1 percent over the past 12 months, the same rate as seen in April but up from 0.9 percent one year ago.

Consumer Prices Edged Slightly Higher in April, Up 0.2 Percent

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that consumer prices edged slightly higher in April, up 0.2 percent, after declining somewhat in March. The higher figure stemmed largely from an increase in energy costs, up 1.1 percent, rebounding from decreases in both February and March. Gasoline prices have jumped 14.3 percent over the past 12 months. At the same time, food prices increased by 0.2 percent in April, rising for the fourth straight month, but with year-over-year growth of just 0.5 percent. Overall, the consumer price index (CPI) increased 2.2 percent year-over-year in April, down from 2.8 percent in February and 2.4 percent in March. In April 2016, the CPI rose 1.1 percent, illustrating the acceleration in prices since then.

Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy costs, edged up 0.1 percent in April and rebounding from a similar decline in March. Excluding food and energy costs, consumer prices have increased 1.9 percent over the past 12 months, pulling back a little from 2.0 percent in the prior report. That was the first time the year-over-year core inflation rate has fallen below 2.0 percent since October 2015. For now, overall pricing pressures remain modest and mostly under control, even with a pickup in the total CPI growth in recent months.

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