Part one of the BLS’s monthly inflation check was released today: the Producer Price Index for March. It shows a sharp but entirely expected jump, thanks to higher energy costs. However, excluding energy costs, producer prices rose quite moderately.
The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods advanced 0.7 percent in March, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. This increase followed a 0.4-percent rise in February and a 0.3-percent gain in January. As they did in February, prices for finished goods other than foods and energy edged up 0.1 percent in March. At the earlier stages of processing, the intermediate goods index rose 1.0 percent, after climbing 0.7 percent in the prior month, and prices for crude goods turned up 4.3 percent in March, after declining 1.6 percent a month earlier.
As usual, I will have more analysis and a graph following the CPI release tomorrow.