Tag Archives: gas prices

CPI Rebounds from Winter Lull

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) roseĀ  0.2% in March from February, well in-line with expectations and was up 1.5% from a year ago, a little hotter than we saw just a month ago. The portions of the country that escaped the polar vortex suffered a drought, which is pushing up feed prices. In response, prices [...]

Winter Chill on Incomes Doesn’t Stop Spending

Disposable personal incomes edged down 0.2% in December, after being adjusted for inflation. A shortfall in farm income and a sharp moderation in wage gains in the service sector accounted for much of the weakness; the softness in the service sector was likely exacerbated by unusually harsh winter weather as the number of people unable [...]

Harsh Weather Prompts Spending on Winter Clothing, Food

Retail sales rose a modest 0.2% in December, as unusually harsh winter weather put a lid on foot traffic at car dealers. Sales excluding motor vehicles and parts were up a much more respectable 0.7%, as early snow and freezing temperatures left consumers scrambling to snap up coats and sweaters and stock up at grocery [...]

Producer Prices Weaken on Soft Energy Prices

The Producer Price Index (PPI) dropped 0.1% in November from October, mostly because of a 0.4% drop in energy prices. Gasoline prices plummeted 0.7% alone. Food prices were flat, while the core PPI (prices excluding food and energy) rose a tepid 0.1%. The increase in the core was attributable to higher vehicle prices

Incomes Weak in September

Personal disposable incomes dropped 0.2% both before and after adjusting for inflation in October. That was despite the end of government furloughs, which took place in July and August. Moreover, government workers who were forced to work without pay or were sent home during the government shutdown were paid retroactively.

Housing Starts Disappoint Again

Housing starts rose to a 896,000-unit rate in July, a sharp rebound from the rain-suppressed 846,000-unit rate of June. All of that gain was concentrated in multi-family units, which increased to 290,000 units from an almost anemic 231,000 unit pace in June. Single-family starts, where the real action in job creation and consumer spending can [...]

PPI Surprises to the Downside

The producer price index (PPI) flatlined in July after surging 0.8% in June. Food prices were flat and energy prices declined slightly, with a drop in natural gas and other energy pricesĀ  offsetting continued increases in prices at the pump. Prices excluding food and energy edged up a modest 0.1%. Prices of intermediate goods were [...]

Retail Sales Drop on Chilly Weather and Cooling Economy

Retail sales dropped 0.4% on a drop in vehicle sales and falling prices at the pump. This suggests that much of the rise in vehicle sales that we saw in March was due to a recovering housing market or to business investment rather than pent-up consumer demand. Pickup trucks are the workhorses of the single-family [...]

Consumer Prices Temporarily Surge on Gas Prices

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped 0.7% in February; almost three quarters of that gain can be attributed to a 9.1% surge in gasoline prices, which has since been reversed. We also saw increases in other energy measures that pushed up consumer prices during the month. Increases in food prices were much more benign;

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 [...]