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US Producer Prices rise ahead of forecasts

But overall picture is mixed as retail sales disappoint and jobless claims dip

14 March 2024

A batch of relatively insightful US economic data today paints a mixed picture. Core Producer Price Index rose 0.3% in February over the previous month, slightly faster than the expected figure of 0.2%. This measures the change in the prices of finished goods and services sold by producers (excluding food and energy), so has implications for the overall level of inflationary forces within the economy. When these two sectors are included, producer prices rose at an even faster clip of 0.6%. Core retail sales (which excludes automobiles as that can account for quite volatile readings) rose 0.3% over the month – a stark reversal of the poor sales seen in January but still below estimates expecting a 0.5% advance. Finally, we had weekly unemployment claims from the Department of Labor which came in almost 10k below forecasts at 209k.

Overall, it was bit of a mixed message of companies passing on higher prices to consumers who may seem to be slipping on the demand front.

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Charles Hepworth

Investment Director
My Insights

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