Following October and November’s disturbing declines in Producer Prices, which many misread as an indication that the Fed will delay tapering for a few months, today’s PPI reversed the recent drop, and posted a 0.4% jump for the headline number in line with expectations, following two months of declines and the highest print since June’s 0.6% sequential increase. And while the Foods PPI dropped by 0.6% in December, Energy prices jumped by 1.6% once again the highest monthly increase since June. But it was the core increase of 0.3%, the highest jump since July 2012 that caught everyone’s attention. So is inflation finally seeping back in the production channel? Not really: as the BLS reported, “Nearly half of the December increase is attributable to prices for tobacco products, which climbed 3.6 percent.” So bad inflationary news for smokers. For everyone else (who eats and drives hedonically) the status quo still remains.
Still at a 1.2% increase in headline PPI, compared to expectations of 1.1%, and November’s 0.7%, this was the first beat in annual producer price inflation expectations since June, and means that this data point will not deter the Fed from tapering more as it has warned it will likely continue to do.
Broken down by components:
The breakdown in finished goods PPI:
Leading the December rise in the finished goods index, prices for finished energy goods increased 1.6 percent. Also contributing to the advance, the index for finished goods less foods and energy moved up 0.3 percent. By contrast, prices for finished consumer foods decreased 0.6 percent.
Finished energy: Prices for finished energy goods climbed 1.6 percent in December, the largest advance since a 2.5-percent jump in June 2013. Over half of the rise in December can be traced to a 2.2-percent increase in the gasoline index. Higher prices for diesel fuel and home heating oil also were factors in the advance in the finished energy goods index. (See table 2.)
Finished core: The index for finished goods less foods and energy moved up 0.3 percent in December, the largest advance since a 0.5-percent rise in July 2012. Nearly half of the December increase is attributable to prices for tobacco products, which climbed 3.6 percent. Higher motor vehicle prices also contributed to the advance in the finished core index.
Finished foods: The index for finished consumer foods fell 0.6 percent in December following no change in November. Leading the decrease, prices for fresh and dry vegetables dropped 13.4 percent.
The real question remains: will Japan continue to export its deflation to the world, and the US, and if so is the recent jump just a one-time fluke?
via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1m51TGC Tyler Durden