The Labor Department is responsible for measuring inflation, and it has just released its first reading with the June Producer Price Index (PPI). This is the measure of wholesale inflation, which generally leads the trends for consumer inflation, and it came in at a gain of 0.8%. Bloomberg had the consensus estimate as a gain of 0.5% on the headline number and a range from economists of 0.2% to 0.9%.
After the headline data, there is the core-PPI as the ex-food and energy report that came in at a gain of 0.2%. Bloomberg was calling for a gain of only 0.2% here, and the range from economists was 0.0% to 0.3%.
PPI reports have been volatile lately, and the latest surge in oil prices might make investors think that the report will be higher for July. The reports issued for May were up 0.5%, but that was after a 0.7% drop in April. The core rates were up 0.1% in each of the two prior months.
Investors and consumers alike should both consider that while the core PPI rate is tame, the headline data now came in as the highest reading in nine months. You might be able to back out energy prices from the core, but unfortunately it is these energy prices that affect the cost of so many goods downstream. These energy prices also affect profits.
The markets are trying to hold continuous gains yet again, and S&P 500 futures are up one point and DJIA futures are up 16 points. The 10-year treasury yield is 2.57%.