Producer Prices Rise 0.2% in January

Prices paid to U.S. producers rose 0.2% in January, the Labor Department reported Feb. 19.

Last month’s producer price index reading followed a rise of 0.1% in December. Economists’ had forecast a 0.1% rise, Bloomberg News reported.

The so-called core PPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.2%. Economists had predicted a 0.1% rise.

“Pipeline pressures remain muted,” Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc., told Bloomberg. “Overall, businesses have very weak pricing power.”

The most recent data released by the Labor Department is the debut of a revamped PPI, the first major overhaul since 1978, to double its reach of the economy by including prices received for construction, exports, government purchases, services and goods, Bloomberg reported.

The altered PPI encompasses 75% of the economy, up from just a third of all production, which previously reflected the costs of goods alone. 

An increase in the PPI could indicate strong demand for goods, which would mean more shipments for trucking companies. However, if inflation begins to accelerate too quickly, the economy could be hurt.


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