Wednesday, October 15, 2008

BLS announces producer price index data: Producer inflation drops a little in September, we still face 8.7 percent yearly producer inflation

First image: Producer Price Index (PPI), January 2008 - September 2008, one month percent change. Second image: PPI, 1998 - 2008, one year percent change.

The producer price numbers are both good and bad.

First, the good: Due to sharp drops in the cost of energy, producer prices in September dropped for the second consecutive month. This drop is reflected in the top data-image. Producer prices dropped by 0.4 percent in September after a 0.9 percent drop in August. These decreases in producer costs can be explained by the lower cost of energy. September saw a 2.9 percent drop in energy costs, after August saw a 4.6 percent drop in energy costs.

The bad news: based on the year-by-year, producer prices are still relatively high. The second data-image shows how producer prices are rising to levels near 10 percent. July saw yearly producer inflation of 9.8 percent, August saw 9.6 percent producer inflation, and September saw 8.7 percent.

Consumer price inflation for September will be released tomorrow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics press release can be read here.

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