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Macro Pulse highlights recent activity and events expected to affect the U.S. economy over the next 24 months. While the review is of the entire U.S. economy its particular focus is on developments affecting the Forest Products industry. Everyone with a stake in any level of the sector can benefit from
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

August 2011 Consumer and Producer Price Indices

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The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in August. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 3.8 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The seasonally adjusted increase in the all-items index was broad-based, with continuing increases in the indexes for gasoline, food, shelter, and apparel. The gasoline index rose for the 12th time in the last 14 months and led to a 1.2 percent increase in the energy index, while the food index rose 0.5 percent, its largest increase since March.

The seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index for Finished Goods (PPI) was unchanged in August. Finished goods prices advanced 0.2 percent in July and declined 0.4 percent in June. At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods decreased 0.5 percent in August, and the crude goods index moved up 0.2 percent. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods increased 6.5 percent for the 12 months ended August 2011, the smallest year-over-year advance since a 5.6 percent rise in March 2011.
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Details at different stages of processing include:

Finished goods -- The index for finished goods was unchanged in August, as a 1.1 percent increase in finished consumer foods prices and a 0.1 percent advance in the index for finished goods less foods and energy offset a 1.0 percent decrease in prices for finished energy goods.

Intermediate goods -- This index fell 0.5 percent, the first decrease since July 2010. Most of the August decline can be attributed to lower prices for intermediate energy goods, which dropped 2.3 percent. The index for intermediate materials less foods and energy also contributed to this decrease, edging down 0.1 percent. By contrast, prices for intermediate foods and feeds advanced 1.7 percent. On a 12-month basis, the index for intermediate goods moved up 10.3 percent in August.

Crude goods -- The index for crude goods moved up 0.2 percent. For the three-month period ending in August, prices for crude materials declined 1.6 percent following a 1.3 percent drop from February to May. In August, the increase in the crude goods index is mostly attributable to prices for crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs, which climbed 4.7 percent. Also contributing to the August advance was a 1.6-percent rise in prices for crude nonfood materials less energy. By contrast, the index for crude energy materials decreased 5.1 percent.
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All of the price index changes for the forest products that we track rose more quickly on a year-over-year basis. Pulpwood and softwood logs, bolts & timber exhibited the most noteworthy year-over-year increases, with 10.4 and 9.5 percent changes, respectively. Pulpwood also had the largest monthly price rise (10.5 percent).
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