February PPI Unexpectedly Falls 0.1%

There was an unexpected drop in producer prices in February, and January's price rise was not as large as initially anticipated.
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On March 15, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the Producer Price Index for Final Demand decreased 0.1% in February, an unexpected decline that followed a sharp rise in January.

Final demand prices advanced 0.3% in January and declined 0.2% in December 2022. The January PPI data was revised down from 0.7%.

On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 4.6% for the past 12 months ending in February. Last month, the decline in the final demand index was led by prices for final demand goods, which fell 0.2%. The index for final demand services dropped 0.1%, BLS said.

The index for final demand aside from foods, energy and trade services increased 0.2% in February after rising 0.5% in January. For the past 12 months ending in February, prices for final demand less foods, energy and trade services were up 4.4%.

The index for final demand goods fell 0.2% in February following a 1.2% increase in January, BLS said. A 2.2% decline in prices for final demand foods was “a major factor in the February decrease,” according to the data. The index for final demand energy dropped 0.2%. Prices for final demand goods aside from foods and energy, however, rose 0.3%.

“Over 80 percent of the February decline in the index for final demand goods can be attributed to a 36.1% drop in prices for chicken eggs,” BLS said in its announcement. “The indexes for residential natural gas, fresh and dry vegetables, diesel fuel, home heating oil, and primary basic organic chemicals also fell. Conversely, prices for iron and steel scrap advanced 10.6 percent. The indexes for gasoline and forsugar and confectionery products also increased.”

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