Tag Archives: drought

PPI Boosted by Energy: Gain is Temporary

The producer price index (PPI) jumped 0.7%, on an outsized, 3% monthly surge in energy prices. Prices excluding food and energy rose a more moderate 0.2%. Food prices actually declined during the month; prices for fresh and dry vegetables plummeted 18%. Many in the food-producing industry have complained that they have been unable to fully [...]

Consumers Show Resilience in February

Consumer Shows Resilience in February Retail sales rose 1.1% in February, after being revised up in January. This gives credence to some of the recent strength in the broader stock indices and the importance to most households of rising housing prices. The increases in home prices have boosted household wealth and allowed consumers to spend [...]

January Incomes Plummet but Spending Edges Higher

Personal disposable incomes contracted at a whopping 4% monthly pace in January in response to a combination of hedging on tax hikes in December (which pulled income from January into December) and actual tax hikes on January 1. The expiration of the payroll tax holiday was a particularly large hit at the start of the [...]

Retail Sales Mixed on Sandy Disruptions; PPI Down on Energy

In November, retail sales increased 0.3% for the month, but were flat excluding auto sales. The Commerce Department reported that it was difficult to separate out the effects of Superstorm Sandy, as some stores were closed and even shut permanently by the storm, while others saw a surge in storm-related business. The composition of sales, [...]

Trade Deficit Narrows on Better Exports

The trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in September, down from $43.8b in August, on a rebound in exports. Gains were fairly broad-based with the exception of vehicle exports, which continued to decline. Agricultural exports increased; at least a portion of those gains, however, was probably due to the higher prices resulting from last summer’s [...]

PPI Jumps on Energy Costs: Other Prices Tepid

The Producer Price Index (PPI) jumped 1.1% in October almost entirely because of an increase in energy prices. Gasoline prices jumped 9.8%; that is bad news for the holiday season, which opens with Halloween in just a few weeks. It is important to note that increases in gasoline prices were extremely uneven across the country. [...]

Trade Deficit Widens on Weaker Goods Exports

The U.S. trade deficit widened to $44.2 billion in August from a revised $42.5 billion in July. A broad-based drop in goods exports was the primary source of weakness, as everything from industrial supplies to vehicles and heavy machinery all suffered from weakening growth abroad, primarily in Europe. China held up better than expected as [...]

Retails Sales Worse than Headline Suggests; Producer Prices a Little Hot

Retail sales rebounded at a 0.8% pace in July after being revised down to a 0.7% decline in June, which leaves the consumer essentially treading water over the two months combined. Moreover, May retail sales were also in the red, so we had a lot to recoup after the spring swoon. Gains in July were [...]