Producer Prices Up 0.4% as Gasoline Jumps

The Producer Price Index for finished goods increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4% for December, according to a Labor Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.

After falling 0.1% for November, these latest numbers exactly matched analyst expectations. The Producer Price Index is a family of indexes that measure the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services. It measures price change from the perspective of the seller. 

Source: Labor Department. 

Diving deeper, a spike in energy prices was the main source of this month's price increase. Finished energy goods advanced 1.6% in price, due primarily to a 2.2% jump in gasoline prices. Finished food prices dropped 0.6%. Excluding these two more volatile goods, producer prices increased a slightly smaller 0.3%, beating analyst estimates of a 0.1% increase. 

Moving back along the supply chain, prices continued to head higher. Intermediate goods added on 0.6% after two months of declines, while crude goods prices jumped 2.4% as crude petroleum prices soared 7.1%. 

At these latest prices, finished goods for December clocked in 1.2% above year-ago levels.

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