The Producer Price Index for finished goods declined 0.2 percent in December, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Prices for finished goods fell 0.8 percent in November and 0.2 percent in October. At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods moved up 0.3 percent, and the crude goods index increased 2.5 percent. On an unadjusted basis, the finished goods index rose 1.3 percent in 2012, compared with a 4.7-percent advance in 2011. (See table A.)
Looking at the top-level table it appears that we have a fairly flat price history on a 12-month basis and on a single-month as well. Intermediate and crude goods have exhibited a fair bit of volatility on a monthly basis, but in terms of trend there's not much there -- and that's good.
Looking inside the story appears to be that crude prices collapsed mid-year and have not recovered, with the big change coming in energy. That shouldn't really surprise, since energy is in everything, directly and indirectly. But it does tell you what sort of impact energy prices have on the economy in general -- and the flow-through into final products.
The "good news" in this report is that the "hyperinflaitonists" keep getting called out by the actual price trends. You have to wonder if those folks are secretly pining for a nuclear war in the Middle East, since nothing short of that appears to have brought about their apocalypse.
For the common man the problem is more-simple; if what you're seeing in the store is an ever-advancing price profile for what you need to buy, and it's not coming in the PPI, where is it coming from?
That's simple: It's the deficit spending folks -- that's exactly identical economically to a tax.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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