Dec 9, 2022 - Economy

Good news/bad news on wholesale inflation

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

This morning's inflation news is either good or bad, depending on the eye of the beholder. November's Producer Price Index suggests price pressures are indeed receding — but not quite as fast as analysts had thought.

Driving the news: Wholesale prices are up 7.4% for the 12 months ended in November, down from 8.1% in the year ended in October, and the lowest reading since May 2021.

  • But core PPI — which excludes food and energy — rose 0.4%, compared to the 0.2% forecasters had expected. It shows price pressures aren't dissipating as rapidly as they seemed.
  • Food prices rose 3.3% in November alone, which could weigh on Americans' budgets.

What they're saying: "With Food PPI rising strongly in November, one can be sure to see continued upward pressure on household grocery bills as those producer prices are passed on to the retail level," said Kurt Rankin, senior economist at PNC.

  • "The holiday shopping season will likely be accompanied by plenty of restaurant goers as well, meaning higher costs for the ‘Food Away from Home’ category," Rankin said in a note.

What's next: The more widely-followed Consumer Price Index for November is due out Tuesday morning. Analysts expect it to show an 0.3% rise in consumer prices last month, down from 0.4% in October.

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