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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, December 21, 2011

November 2011 Consumer and Producer Price Indices

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The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index was unchanged in November. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.4 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The energy index declined for the second month in a row and offset increases in the indexes for food and all items less food and energy. As in October, the gasoline index fell sharply and the index for household energy declined as well. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent, following increases of 0.1 percent in each of the prior two months.

The all items index has risen 3.4 percent over the last 12 months. This is a slightly smaller increase than last month's 3.5 percent figure, as the 12 month change in the energy index declined from 14.2 percent to 12.4 percent. In contrast, the 12 month change in the index for all items less food and energy continued to rise, reaching 2.2 percent in November.

The seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index for Finished Goods (PPI) advanced 0.3 percent in November. Finished goods prices fell 0.3 percent in October and moved up 0.8 percent in September. At the earlier stages of processing, the index for intermediate goods rose 0.2 percent and crude goods prices increased 3.8 percent. On an unadjusted basis, the finished goods index advanced 5.7 percent for the 12 months ended November 2011, the smallest year-over-year rise since a 5.6 percent increase in March 2011.
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Details at different stages of processing include:

Finished goods -- In November, the increase in the finished goods index was broad based with prices for finished consumer foods moving up 1.0 percent. The indexes for both finished goods less foods and energy and for finished energy goods inched up 0.1 percent.

Intermediate goods -- This index moved up 0.2 percent after declining 1.1 percent in October. Leading this increase, prices for intermediate energy goods rose 1.9 percent. The index for intermediate foods and feeds also contributed to the advance, moving up 0.6 percent. By contrast, prices for intermediate materials less foods and energy decreased 0.4 percent. For the 12 months ending in November, the intermediate goods index increased 7.7 percent, the smallest year-over-year rise since a 6.2 percent increase in January 2011.

Crude goods -- The index for crude goods moved up 3.8 percent. For the three months ending in November, prices for crude materials advanced 4.0 percent following a 1.5 percent decline from May to August. In November, the monthly increase in the crude goods index is mostly attributable to prices for crude energy materials, which jumped 10.5 percent. Also contributing to the November climb was the index for crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs, which advanced 0.5 percent. By contrast, prices for crude nonfood materials less energy decreased 2.5 percent.
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Half of the individual price indices we track were unchanged relative to October, while the other half declined. All were higher in November than a year earlier; however, only one (softwood logs, bolts & timber) rose more quickly on a year-over-year basis than in October.
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