While topline inflation as established by the CPI just reached 7%, the highest level in 40 years, and thus is getting most of the attention, it’s not the only concerning Bidenflation number out there.
In fact, the producer price index, which measures what those who produce goods and services are paid, rose a whopping 10% last year, a massive increase that might indicate consumer price inflation is about to rise even higher.
That number comes from a Thursday Bureau of Labor Statistics “Economic News Release.” In that release, the BLS reported that:
The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.2 percent in December, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This rise followed advances of 1.0 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October. (See table A.) On an unadjusted basis, final demand prices moved up 9.7 percent in 2021, the largest calendar-year increase since data were first calculated in 2010.
That’s right, it’s not just that the PPI rose precipitously, though that’s bad enough. No, it rose more in the past year than it ever has in a year.
However, it should be noted that, while the year’s PPI number was quite high, the rate of growth did slow dramatically in December, when it rose only 0.2%. That’s compared to 0.6% in October and 1% in November and is half of what was expected (0.4%) by economists for December 2021.
Similarly, UPI reports that the cost of goods typically looked at by the Fed for measuring inflation didn’t rise as precipitously as expected. In its words:
Prices for final demand less food, energy and trade services — a key inflation marker closely watched by the Federal Reserve — increased by 0.4% in December, half of the 0.8% increase in November.
So, though the number for the year is quite high, and certainly higher than the CPI number, inflation might start slowing if the PPI numbers for December are any guide.
Furthermore, the Fed is apparently planning a campaign of “tightening” to combat inflation, with Jerome Powell telling the Senate in a hearing that the Fed will do what it takes to strangle inflation, something it sees as a jobs killer, even if that means sharply raising interest rates.
Still, inflation might remain an issue, especially in certain areas. Again according to UPI:
Brandon, however, remains largely oblivious to the problem and is even striking a somewhat cheery tone about it. In a press release, he said “America is fortunate that we have one of the fastest growing economies—thanks in part to the American Rescue Plan—which enables us to address price increases and maintain strong, sustainable economic growth.”
At least Powell is starting to wake up to the threat and PPI appears on a downslope; Brandon doesn’t seem to get what the problem is.