US producer price index down by 0.5 pct in December

WASHINGTON, The Producer Price Index for final demand declined 0.5 percent in December, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the US Department of Labor reported on Wednesday. Final demand prices advanced 0.2 percent in November and 0.4 percent in October, according to the latest economic news release from the BLS.

On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand increased 6.2 percent in 2022 after rising 10.0 percent in 2021.

In December, the decrease in the final demand index can be attributed to a 1.6-percent decline in prices for final demand goods. In contrast, the index for final demand services rose 0.1 percent.

Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services edged up 0.1 percent in December after increasing 0.3 percent in November. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services advanced 4.6 percent in 2022 following a 7.0-percent rise in 2021.

Acclaiming the figures, President Joe Biden said, “Today, we received more evidence that we are making real progress tackling inflation and lowering costs, successfully transitioning from a historic recovery to steady and stable growth.” “The inflation rate for producers fell further and is now at its lowest level since March 2021,” a White House statement quoted President Biden as saying.

“This decrease reflected a decline in food and energy prices, bringing real breathing room to working families and, price increases outside of food, energy, and trade services slowed and are at their lowest level since March 2021.

“We also learned that, adjusted for inflation, consumers continue to spend, albeit at a pace that is slowing compared to earlier in the recovery – that’s expected with the transition to steady and stable growth,” he noted.

“Today’s news comes on the heels of an unemployment rate near a 50-year low, inflation coming down for six months in a row “We are not letting up, and there are even more reasons for optimism this year,” President Biden added.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a 0.1 percent decline. The decline was the biggest on a monthly basis since April 2020, according to a CNBC report.

PPI rose 6.2 percent, the lowest annual level since March 2021 and down considerably from the 10 percent annual increase in 2021, the report added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency