The PPI report came out today. While we are doing better than Zimbabwe, things are still a little scary.
I was having dinner with Chris last weekend, and I expressed concern over US inflation. He asked me what the numbers were, and I didn’t have them handy. Here are the numbers from a MarketWatch article on the January 2008 PPI report.
First, the most concerning number of all:
Year over year, the PPI is up 7.4% — the fastest pace since 1981. Also on an annualized basis, the core PPI is up 2.3%.
And here are some more details found at the end of the article:
Energy prices rebounded 1.5% in January after having fallen 3% in December and having jumped 11.4% in November.
Gasoline prices rose 2.9% last month, while wholesale prices for home heating oil climbed 8.5%.
Food prices surged 1.7%, marking the fastest pace since October 2004.
January’s prices for car and light truck both rose 0.3%, with wholesale prices for drug preparations having increased 1.5%.
Book publishing costs rose 1.7% in February, which is the fastest pace since March 2002.
The inflation picture was also worrisome further back in the production pipeline.
Prices of intermediate goods destined for further processing rose 1.4%, with core intermediate goods prices moving up 1.0%. In the past year, the core intermediate PPI is up 4.1%, the fastest pace since December 2006.
Prices of crude materials rose 2.5% in January, coming on the heels of a 1.1% gain in December.