Producer Price Index Rises in April, Marking Largest Annual Increase Since 2023
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Producer Price Index Rises in April, Marking Largest Annual Increase Since 2023

Producer Price Index rises 0.5% in April, largest annual increase since April 2023.
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According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand increased by 0.5% in April 2024, following a 0.1% decline in March and a 0.6% rise in February.

On an unadjusted basis, the PPI for final demand saw a 2.2% increase for the 12 months that ended in April 2024, marking the largest annual increase since April 2023, which recorded a 2.3% rise.

The core PPI, which excludes foods, energy, and trade services, rose 0.4% in April, following a 0.2% increase in March. For the year ended in April, this index increased by 3.1%.

Prices for Final Demand Services and Goods Up 0.6% in April

Prices for final demand services increased by 0.6% in April, the largest rise since July 2023. This was primarily driven by a 0.6% increase in prices for final demand services less trade, transportation, and warehousing.

Margins for final demand trade services rose 0.8%, while prices for final demand transportation and warehousing services decreased by 0.6%. A significant contributor to the rise in final demand services was a 3.9% increase in portfolio management prices. Other notable increases were observed in machinery and equipment wholesaling, residential real estate services, automobile retailing, guestroom rental, and truck transportation of freight.

Prices for final demand goods rose 0.4% in April, driven by a 2.0% increase in the index for final demand energy. Prices for final demand goods less foods and energy increased by 0.3%, while the index for final demand foods declined by 0.7%.

The increase in final demand goods was primarily due to a 5.4% rise in gasoline prices. Other significant increases included diesel fuel, chicken eggs, electric power, nonferrous metals, and canned poultry. Conversely, prices for fresh and dry vegetables fell by 18.7%.

Prices for processed goods for intermediate demand rose 0.6% in April, with a 1.6% increase in processed energy goods. Unprocessed goods for intermediate demand saw a 3.2% rise, the largest since August 2022, driven by an 8.2% increase in unprocessed energy materials.

Stock Indexes Mixed, Commodities and Currencies Fluctuate

At the time of writing, US stock indices showed mixed results, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) down 3.32 points (-0.01%) at 39,428.19, while the NASDAQ gained 44.67 points (+0.27%) to 16,432.91.

The S&P 500 edged up 1.91 points (+0.04%) to 5,223.33, and the NASDAQ 100 rose 27.02 points (+0.15%) to 18,225.63. The S&P 400 (MidCap) and Russell 2000 (SmallCap) indexes saw more significant gains, up 23.33 points (+0.78%) and 21.24 points (+1.03%), respectively.

Commodities experienced varying fluctuation levels, with gold rising $13.8 (+0.59%) to $2,356.8 and oil falling $0.99 (-1.25%) to $78.13. Silver and copper saw gains, up $0.282 (+0.99%) and $0.227 (+4.75%), respectively. Agricultural commodities such as wheat, soybeans, and corn experienced declines.

In the Treasury market, yields remained relatively stable, with minor changes observed across various maturities. The US Dollar Index (DXY) fell 0.19 points (-0.18%) to 105.03, while the EUR/USD and GBP/USD pairs saw modest gains. The USD/JPY pair rose 0.29 points (+0.19%) to 156.49. The volatility index, VIX, experienced a slight decline of 0.03 points (-0.22%) to close at 13.57.

Do you think inflation will continue to persist through 2024? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The author does not hold or have a position in any securities discussed in the article.