Producer Prices Tumble, Inflation Tame

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that prices for finished goods fell 0.8% in November, better than Bloomberg’s consensus estimate for a 0.5% drop. Excluding food and energy costs, producer prices rose 0.1%, again better than the expected rise of 0.2%.

Food prices rose 1.3% in November, on top of a 0.4% rise in October. Energy costs fell sharply, by 4.6% in November compared with a rise of 0.5% in October. The decline in energy prices was the largest decrease since March 2009. Gasoline prices fell 10.1% on top of a 2.2% decline in October.

For the past 12 months, wholesale prices are now up 1.5%, or 2.2% excluding food and energy costs.

The consumer price index (CPI) is due out tomorrow. The consensus estimates call for a drop of 0.2% overall and a rise of 0.2% excluding food and energy. Falling gasoline prices are once again the main driver of the inflation indexes this month.

Paul Ausick

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