The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Wholesale Prices Advance 1.3% in February

The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods advanced 1.3 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This increase followed a 0.6-percent decline in January and a 0.9-percent rise in December. At the earlier stages of processing, the intermediate goods index turned up 1.1 percent after falling 0.7 percent in the previous month, and prices for crude goods climbed 8.9 percent following a 6.3-percent decrease in January.
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Among finished goods in February, the index for energy goods moved up 3.5 percent compared with a 4.6-percent drop a month earlier. The rate of increase for consumer foods prices accelerated to 1.9 percent in February from 1.1 percent in January. Excluding prices for foods and ...

shapes also advanced less than they had a month earlier. The indexes for building paper and board and for hardwood lumber turned down in February. Prices for cement fell more than in January.
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The index for materials and components for construction edged up 0.1 percent following a 0.2-percent increase in January. In February, rising prices for steel mill products, plumbing fixtures and brass fittings, concrete products, heating equipment, and plastic construction products outweighed price declines for nonferrous wire and cable, treated wood, gypsum products, asphalt felts and coatings, and prefabricated wood buildings and components.
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The basic industrial materials index advanced 2.7 percent after increasing 1.6 percent in January. The gold ores index turned up 9.2 percent following a 3.7-percent decline in the preceding month. Prices for both copper and aluminum base scrap fell less in February than they had in the previous month. The indexes for wastepaper; construction sand, gravel, and crushed stone; and phosphates rose more than they had a month earlier. By contrast, price increases for iron and steel scrap slowed to 9.1 percent in February from 11.8 percent in January. The raw cotton index turned down after advancing in the prior month.
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The Producer Price Index for the Net Output of Total Trade Industriesdeclined 0.3 percent in February compared with a 1.4-percent increase in January. (Trade indexes measure changes in margins received by wholesalers and retailers.) Most of this downturn can be traced to margins received by gasoline stations, which dropped 24.8 percent in February following a 44.2-percent jump in the prior month. The margin indexes for merchant wholesalers of durable goods, grocery stores, shoe stores, and automobile dealers also fell after rising in January. Conversely, margins received by merchant wholesalers of nondurable goods advanced 4.1 percent in February following a 0.9-percent decrease a month earlier.
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Read the Producer Price Index news release in full here.The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods advanced 1.3 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This increase followed a 0.6-percent decline in January and a 0.9-percent rise in December. At the earlier stages of processing, the intermediate goods index turned up 1.1 percent after falling 0.7 percent in the previous month, and prices for crude goods climbed 8.9 percent following a 6.3-percent decrease in January.
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Among finished goods in February, the index for energy goods moved up 3.5 percent compared with a 4.6-percent drop a month earlier. The rate of increase for consumer foods prices accelerated to 1.9 percent in February from 1.1 percent in January. Excluding prices for foods and energy, the finished goods index moved up 0.4 percent in February after a 0.2-percent advance in the previous month.
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Before seasonal adjustment, the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods increased 1.1 percent in February to 162.0 (1982 = 100). From February 2006 to February 2007, prices for finished goods rose 2.5 percent. Over the same period, the finished consumer foods index jumped 6.8 percent, prices for finished goods other than foods and energy increased 1.8 percent, and the index for finished energy goods was unchanged. For the 12 months ended February 2007, prices for intermediate goods moved up 2.5 percent, and the crude goods index rose 9.3 percent.
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Some notes of interest to MDM readers:
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Capital equipment prices advanced 0.3 percent following a 0.2-percent increase in January. In February, rising prices for light motor trucks; commercial furniture; pumps, compressors, and equipment; communication and related equipment; construction machinery and equipment; and ships outweighed falling prices for passenger cars; x-ray and electromedical equipment; electronic computers; and railroad equipment.
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The Producer Price Index for Intermediate Materials, Supplies, and Components advanced 1.1 percent in February following a 0.7-percent decline in January. Prices for intermediate energy goods, as well as the indexes for both durable and nondurable manufacturing materials, increased after falling in January. The index for intermediate foods and feeds rose more than it had a month earlier. Conversely, prices for materials and components for construction advanced less than they had in January. Excluding foods and energy, prices for intermediate goods edged up 0.2 percent after remaining unchanged in January.
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After edging down 0.1 percent in January, the index for materials for nondurable manufacturing moved up 0.7 percent in February. The primary basic organic chemicals index increased 3.2 percent following a 2.9-percent decline in the previous month. Prices for finished fabrics also turned up in February. The index for fertilizer materials rose more than it had in January, and paper prices fell less in February compared with the prior month. By contrast, the index for inedible fats and oils decreased 9.6 percent in February subsequent to a 5.5-percent decline a month earlier. Prices for basic inorganic chemicals also declined more than in the prior month. The indexes for paint materials and ethanol turned down in February after rising a month earlier.
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The index for materials for durable manufacturing increased 0.3 percent in February following a 0.6-percent decrease in the previous month. Leading this reversal, prices for steel mill products rose 1.4 percent after inching down 0.2 percent in January. The index for primary nonferrous metals also turned up in February, while prices for unprocessed filament yarns fell less than they had in January. By contrast, the index for softwood lumber increased 0.8 percent in February subsequent to a 5.7-percent gain in January. Prices for aluminum mill

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