posted on 18 February 2015
Written by Steven Hansen
The Producer Price Index inflation continued its growth deceleration - and overall the PPI is showing zero inflation year-over-year. In all events, the intermediate processing continues to show a very large deflation in the supply chain.
The PPI represents inflation pressure (or lack thereof) that migrates into consumer price.
The producer price inflation breakdown:
In the following graph, one can see the relationship between the year-over-year change in crude good index and the finish goods index. When the crude goods growth falls under finish goods - it usually drags finished goods lower.
Percent Change Year-over-Year - Comparing PPI Finished Goods (blue line) to PPI Crude Materials (red line)
Percent Change Month-over-Month- Comparing PPI Finished Goods (blue line) to PPI Crude Materials (red line)
Removing food and energy (core PPI) was originally done to remove the noise from the index, however the usefulness in the twenty-first century is questionable except in certain specific circumstance.
PPI Core Inflation (finished goods less food & energy) - Year-over-Year (blue line, left axis) and Month-over-Month (red line, right axis)
Econintersect has shown how pricing change moves from the PPI to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This YoY change implies that the CPI, should continue to come in well below 2.0% YoY.
Comparing Year-over-Year Change Between the PPI Finished Goods Index (blue line) and the CPI-U (red line)
The price moderation of the PPI began in September 2011 when the year-over-year inflation was 7.0%.
Caveats on the Use of Producer Price Index
Econintersect has performed several tests on this series and finds it fairly representative of price changes (inflation). However, the headline rate is an average - and for an individual good or commodity, this series provides many sub-indices for specific application.
A very good primer on the Producer Price Index nuances can be found here.
Because of the nuances in determining the month-over-month index values, the year-over-year or annual change in the PPI index is preferred for comparisons.
There is moderate correlation between crude goods and finished goods as shown on the first graph in this post. Higher crude material prices push the finished goods prices up.
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