June wholesale prices rose more than expected, another sign that inflation is moving faster than markets expected.
The producer price index, which measures what companies get for the goods they produce, rose 1% from May and rose 7.3% year-on-year. This was the second month in a row that the PPI set a record for a series of data dating back to 2010.
Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected a monthly increase of 0.6%. Excluding volatile food, energy and retail prices, the core PPI rose 0.5% in line with estimates.
The PPI headline surge comes a day after the Department of Labor reported a 5.4% year-over-year increase in the consumer price index, the biggest move for the measure since 2008.
The producer price index differs from the CPI in that it measures the final demand prices companies get for their goods. The CPI tracks what consumers actually pay at the checkout.
As with the consumer metric, the PPI attributed much of its profit to rising prices associated with the automotive and trucking industries.
Specifically, 20% of the June producer price hike was due to a 10.5% increase in auto and auto parts retail. In contrast, 70% of the increase came from trading services, which are up 2.1%.
Energy also played a major role, with final demand prices rising 2.1% in June. Food prices rose by 0.8%.
Federal Reserve officials have been keeping a close eye on inflation, but claim that the current rise in prices is mainly due to factors that will pass as the economy nears its pre-pandemic normal.
They name factors such as supply chain bottlenecks, extraordinary increases in demand that will subside, and “base effects” or comparisons with last year’s shutdown economy that skew current inflation figures.
However, company representatives have repeatedly cited higher inflation in their earnings reports this year.
“There’s a lot of inflation,” said Dan Florness, CEO of Fastenal, on the company’s conference call on Tuesday. “There is inflation due to disruption in shipping; “
Fed chairman Jerome Powell said in a speech prepared for a congressional hearing on Wednesday that inflation has “increased noticeably” but is likely to decline in the coming months.
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