The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Inflation Up 1% in March

The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods increased 1.0 percent in March, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This advance followed a 1.3 percent rise in February and a 0.6-percent decrease in January. The index for finished goods excluding foods and energy, or core inflation, was unchanged in March after moving up 0.4 percent in February.
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At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by producers of intermediate goods increased 1.0 percent in March following a 1.1-percent advance a month earlier, and the crude goods index rose 3.2 percent after climbing 8.9 percent in February.
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Among finished goods, the index for consumer goods less foods and energy edged up 0.1 percent in March following a ...

index for materials for durable manufacturing advanced 1.1 percent in March following a 0.3-percent increase in February.&nbsp ; Prices for copper and brass mill shapes rose 1.7 percent after declining 4.5 percent a month earlier.&nbsp ; Prices for cement, building paper and board, and thermoplastic resins also turned up in March.&nbsp ; The indexes for hot rolled steel bars, plates, and structural shapes; prepared paint; and hot rolled steel sheet and strip increased more than they had in February.&nbsp ; Conversely, the titanium mill shapes index decreased 13.1 percent in March compared with a 0.3-percent advance in the preceding month.&nbsp ; Prices for softwood lumber and aluminum mill shapes rose less than they had in February.&nbsp ; The index for materials for durable manufacturing advanced at a 3.0-percent SAAR for the 3 months ended March 2007 after declining at a 2.3-percent SAAR in the preceding quarter.
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Prices for materials and components for construction increased 0.3 percent in March after edging up 0.1 percent in the prior month.&nbsp ; The concrete products index advanced 0.8 percent following a 0.3-percent rise in February.&nbsp ; Prices for fabricated structural metal products also increased more than they had in the preceding month.&nbsp ; Prices for nonferrous wire and cable and for treated wood fell less in March than in the prior month.&nbsp ; The indexes for architectural coatings and for asphalt felts and coatings turned up after falling in February.&nbsp ; Alternatively, prices for plastic construction products declined 0.3 percent in March following a 0.3-percent advance a month earlier.&nbsp ; The index for heating equipment also turned down after rising in February, while prices for plumbing fixtures and brass fittings increased less in March.&nbsp ; The index for materials and components for construction advanced at a 2.1-percent SAAR in the first quarter of 2007 after falling at a 2.1-percent SAAR in the prior quarter.
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The index for components for manufacturing declined 0.5 percent in March after increasing 0.1 percent for two consecutive months.&nbsp ; In March, falling prices for electronic components and accessories, computer storage devices, carpets and rugs, and lamp bulbs and tubes outweighed rising prices for fabricated steel plate, heat exchangers and condensers, steam and hot water equipment, and parts for turbines and turbine generators. The index for components for manufacturing fell at a 1.5-percent SAAR from December 2006 to March 2007 after rising at a 0.3-percent SAAR during the final quarter of 2006. railroad equipment, and for integrating and measuring instruments also turned up in March. The capital equipment index advanced at a 1.9-percent SAAR during the first quarter of 2007 after climbing at a 2.7-percent SAAR during the fourth quarter of 2006.
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The index for finished consumer goods less foods and energy edged up 0.1 percent in March following a 0.5-percent rise in February.&nbsp ; Cigarette prices were unchanged in March after climbing 4.6 percent a month earlier. The indexes for light motor trucks; toys, games, and children’s vehicles; household furniture; soaps and synthetic detergents; lawn and garden equipment (excluding garden tractors); and sanitary papers and health products turned down following gains in February.&nbsp ; By contrast, the passenger cars index moved up 0.2 percent in March after falling 1.2 percent in the prior month.&nbsp ; Prices for newspaper circulation and home electronic equipment also increased following declines in February, while the pharmaceutical preparations index advanced at a slightly quicker rate in March than it had in the preceding month.&nbsp ; During the first quarter of 2007, prices for finished consumer goods less foods and energy rose at a 3.1-percent SAAR after moving up at a 1.7-percent SAAR during the fourth quarter of 2006.
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The index for finished consumer foods rose 1.4 percent in March following a 1.9-percent advance in the prior month.&nbsp ; Prices for processed young chickens moved up 1.1 percent compared with a 3.8-percent jump in February.&nbsp ; The indexes for fresh fruits and melons, pork, eggs for fresh use, and confectionery end products turned down in March after increasing a month earlier.&nbsp ; Prices for bakery products and pasta products rose less than they had in February.&nbsp ; By contrast, the index for fresh and dry vegetables surged 13.5 percent in March following an 8.3-percent advance in the preceding month.&nbsp ; Prices for dairy products also increased more than they had in February.&nbsp ; The indexes for soft drinks and processed turkeys climbed after falling in the prior month.
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The finished energy goods index rose 3.6 percent in March after advancing 3.5 percent in February. In March, higher prices for gasoline, which jumped 8.7 percent, along with increasing prices for residential natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, diesel fuel, and home heating oil outweighed declining prices for finished lubricants.
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Intermediate goods
The Producer Price Index for Intermediate Materials, Supplies, and Components rose 1.0 percent in March, slightly less than the 1.1-percent increase in the prior month.&nbsp ; In March, price advances for intermediate energy goods, materials for both nondurable and durable manufacturing, intermediate foods and feeds, and for materials and components for construction outweighed falling prices for components for manufacturing. Prices for intermediate materials less foods and energy moved up 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month.
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Subsequent to a 0.7-percent increase in February, prices for materials for nondurable manufacturing moved up 0.9 percent in March.&nbsp ; The index for inedible fats and oils rose 2.4 percent following a 9.6-percent drop in February.&nbsp ; Prices for plastic resins and materials, intermediate basic organic chemicals, paperboard, and paint materials also turned up in March.
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The index for primary basic organic chemicals increased 0.5 percent after climbing 3.2 percent in February.&nbsp ; Prices for finished fabrics also rose less in March, and the paper index decreased more than it had a month earlier.&nbsp ; From December 2006 to March 2007, prices for materials for nondurable manufacturing increased at a 6.1-percent SAAR after moving down at a 4.5-percent SAAR in the prior quarter.
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TheThe Producer Price Index for Finished Goods increased 1.0 percent in March, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This advance followed a 1.3 percent rise in February and a 0.6-percent decrease in January. The index for finished goods excluding foods and energy, or core inflation, was unchanged in March after moving up 0.4 percent in February.
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At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by producers of intermediate goods increased 1.0 percent in March following a 1.1-percent advance a month earlier, and the crude goods index rose 3.2 percent after climbing 8.9 percent in February.
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Among finished goods, the index for consumer goods less foods and energy edged up 0.1 percent in March following a 0.5-percent increase in the preceding month, while capital equipment prices moved down 0.1 percent after advancing 0.3 percent in February.&nbsp ; The consumer foods index rose less in March than it had a month earlier-1.4 and 1.9 percent, respectively.&nbsp ; By contrast, slightly counteracting the deceleration in finished goods prices, the index for energy goods increased 3.6 percent in March compared with a rise of 3.5 percent in February.
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During the first quarter of 2007, the finished goods index climbed at a 6.9-percent seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), after moving up at a 3.5-percent SAAR during the fourth quarter of 2006. This faster rate of increase can be traced primarily to prices for finished consumer foods, which advanced at an 18.7-percent SAAR for the 3 months ended March 2007 after rising at a 3.6-percent SAAR for the 3 months ended December 2006.
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The index for finished energy goods increased at a 9.4-percent SAAR during the first quarter of 2007 after moving up at a 6.6-percent SAAR during the fourth quarter of 2006.&nbsp ; Prices for finished goods less foods and energy advanced at a 2.3-percent SAAR for the 3 months ended in March, the same as for the 3 months ended in December.&nbsp ; At the earlier stages of processing, the intermediate goods index increased at a 5.9-percent SAAR during the first quarter of 2007 after inching up at a 0.7-percent SAAR during the fourth quarter of 2006, and prices for crude goods jumped at a 23.5-percent SAAR for the 3 months ended in March after climbing at a 29.0-percent SAAR for the 3 months ended in December.
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Before seasonal adjustment, the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods rose 1.4 percent in March to 164.2 (1982 = 100).&nbsp ; From March 2006 to March 2007, finished goods prices advanced 3.2 percent.&nbsp ; Over the same period, the index for finished consumer foods increased 7.8 percent, prices for finished goods less foods and energy moved up 1.7 percent, and the index for finished energy goods rose 2.8 percent.&nbsp ; For the 12 months ended in March, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods advanced 3.5 percent, and the crude goods index jumped 15.6 percent.
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Finished goods
The capital equipment index inched down 0.1 percent in March after rising 0.3 percent in February.&nbsp ; Most of this downturn can be attributed to prices for light motor trucks, which fell 1.2 percent in March following a 1.7-percent increase a month earlier.&nbsp ; The indexes for commercial furniture and for ships also decreased after advancing in the preceding month.
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Prices for pumps, compressors, and related equipment rose less in March than in the prior month, while the index for electronic computers declined more than it had in February.&nbsp ; Prices for communication and related equipment were unchanged following increases in the previous month.&nbsp ; By contrast, partially offsetting the downturn in capital equipment prices, the index for x-ray and electromedical equipment moved up 0.3 percent in March after falling 2.6 percent in February.&nbsp ; Prices for passenger cars,

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