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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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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

September 2011 Consumer and Producer Price Indices

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The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in September. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 3.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in energy and food indexes were the main cause of the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The gasoline index continued to rise, and indexes for electricity and natural gas increased as well. Broad increases in food indexes also continued in September, with the food at home index rising 0.6 percent for the third month in a row and no major grocery store food group indexes declining.

The seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index for Finished Goods (PPI) rose 0.8 percent in September. Finished goods prices were unchanged in August and increased 0.2 percent in July. At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods moved up 0.6 percent in September, and the crude goods index advanced 2.8 percent. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods climbed 6.9 percent for the 12 months ended September 2011.
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Details at different stages of processing include:

Finished goods -- In September, the increase in the index for finished goods was broad based, with prices for finished energy goods rising 2.3 percent, the index for finished goods less foods and energy moving up 0.2 percent, and prices for finished consumer foods advancing 0.6 percent.

Intermediate goods -- This index climbed 0.6 percent in September after falling 0.5 percent in August. Over two-thirds of this broad-based advance can be traced to prices for intermediate energy goods, which rose 1.7 percent in September. The indexes for intermediate goods less foods and energy and for intermediate foods and feeds also contributed to the increase in intermediate goods prices, moving up 0.2 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. For the 12 months ending September 2011, the intermediate goods index jumped 10.5 percent.

Crude goods -- The index for crude goods moved up 2.8 percent in September. For the three-month period ending in September, prices for crude materials advanced 1.8 percent following a 1.1 percent decrease from March to June. In September, the monthly increase in the crude goods index is mostly attributable to prices for crude energy materials, which jumped 7.7 percent. Also contributing to the September climb was the index for crude nonfood materials less energy, which advanced 1.0 percent. By contrast, prices for crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs moved down 0.9 percent.
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The price indexes for the forest products that we track either rose very little or declined; also, with only a couple of exceptions, the pace of increases slowed on a year-over-year basis.
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