The Producer Price Index for finished goods rose 0.8 percent in April, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This advance followed increases of 0.7 percent in March and 1.6 percent in February.
At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods climbed 1.3 percent in April, and the crude goods index rose 4.0 percent. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods moved up 6.8 percent for the 12 months ended April 2011, the largest year-over-year gain since an 8.8-percent increase in September 2008.
About three quarters of the April advance in the finished goods index can be traced to a 2.5 percent jump in prices for finished energy goods. Also contributing to the rise in the finished goods index, prices for both finished goods other than foods (NYSE:RJA) and energy (NYSE:XLE) and for finished consumer foods moved up 0.3 percent in April.
Finished energy: Prices for finished energy goods increased 2.5 percent in April, the seventh consecutive monthly advance. Over half of the April rise can be attributed to the gasoline index, which climbed 3.6 percent (NYSE:USO). Higher prices for liquefied petroleum gas and residential natural gas (NYSE:UNG) also were factors in the increase in the finished energy goods index. (See table 2.)
Finished core: The index for finished goods less foods and energy moved up 0.3 percent in April, the fifth straight monthly rise. Nearly one-fourth of the April monthly advance can be traced to a 1.2-percent jump in civilian aircraft prices. An increase in the index for light motor trucks also contributed significantly to the rise in finished core prices.
Finished foods: Prices for finished consumer foods rose 0.3 percent in April after falling 0.2 percent in the prior month. Leading this advance, the index for eggs for fresh use surged 56.7 percent.
The Producer Price Index for intermediate materials (NYSE:XLB), supplies, and components rose 1.3 percent in April, the ninth consecutive monthly advance. The broad-based April increase was led by prices for intermediate goods less foods and energy, which moved up 1.1 percent. The indexes for intermediate energy goods and for intermediate foods and feeds also contributed to the intermediate goods advance, rising 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. For the 12 months ended April 2011, prices for intermediate goods climbed 9.4 percent, the largest increase since a 9.8-percent jump in October 2008. (See table B.)
Intermediate core: Prices for intermediate goods less foods and energy moved up 1.1 percent in April, the ninth consecutive monthly rise. About fifteen percent of the April gain can be attributed to the index for primary basic organic chemicals, which increased 3.2 percent. Higher prices for ethanol and steel mill products (NYSE:DBB) also contributed to the advance in intermediate core prices. (See table 2.)
Intermediate energy: The index for intermediate energy goods climbed 1.9 percent in April, the smallest advance since a 1.5-percent increase in November 2010. Prices for diesel fuel, which moved up 3.5 percent, were a significant contributor to the April rise. Higher prices for gasoline also were a factor in the increase in the intermediate energy goods index.
Intermediate foods: The intermediate foods and feeds index advanced 1.8 percent in April, the
ninth straight monthly increase. A 5.6-percent jump in prices for beef and veal accounted for a quarter of the April advance in the intermediate foods and feeds index.
The Producer Price Index for crude materials for further processing increased 4.0 percent in April. For the 3 months ending in April, prices for crude materials moved up 7.0 percent following an 11.4-percent jump for the 3 months ending in January. Leading the broad-based monthly advance in April, the index for crude energy materials rose 4.8 percent. Prices for crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs and for crude nonfood materials less energy increased 4.0 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
Crude energy: The index for crude energy (NYSE:XLE) materials moved up 4.8 percent in April. From January to April, crude energy prices advanced 5.3 percent compared with a 17.9-percent jump in the previous 3-month period. For the month of April, the index for natural gas rose 9.4 percent, accounting for over half of the increase in prices for crude energy materials. Advances in the indexes for crude petroleum and coal also contributed to higher crude energy prices.
Crude foods: Prices for crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs (NYSE:RJA) advanced 4.0 percent in April. For the
3 months ending in April, the index for crude foods jumped 11.4 percent subsequent to moving up 5.5 percent from October to January. Accounting for about half of the monthly rise in April, the grains index increased 15.5 percent. Higher prices for slaughter steers and heifers also were a factor in the advance in the crude foods index.
Crude core: The index for crude nonfood materials less energy rose 2.6 percent in April. From January to April, crude core prices moved up 2.5 percent after a 10.1-percent advance in the previous 3-month period. For the month of April, a 4.5-percent increase in the index for copper base scrap was a factor in higher crude core prices.
Services Analysis Trade Industries
TTrade industries: The Producer Price Index for the net output of total trade industries moved up 0.1 percent in April, the third consecutive increase. Trade indexes measure changes in margins received by wholesalers and retailers (NYSE:RTH). Leading the April advance was a 5.3-percent increase in margins received by department stores (NYSE:IYR). Higher margins received by women’s clothing stores and by electronic shopping and mail order houses also contributed significantly to the rise in the total trade industries index.
Transportation and warehousing industries: The Producer Price Index for the net output of transportation and warehousing industries rose 0.3 percent in April, the seventh consecutive increase. Accounting for forty-five percent of the April advance, prices received by couriers climbed 1.4 percent. Increases in the indexes for long distance general freight trucking (truckload) and line-haul railroads also were factors in the April rise in the transportation and warehousing industries index.
Traditional service industries: The Producer Price Index for the net output of total traditional service industries moved up 0.7 percent in April after no change in the previous month. Leading this advance, prices received by the depository credit intermediation industry group rose 7.3 percent. Higher prices received by insurance carriers and by general medical and surgical hospitals (NYSE:XLV) also contributed to the increase in the total traditional service industries index.