Friday, December 13, 2013

BLS: Producer Price Index declines 0.1 percent in November

by Bill McBride on 12/13/2013 08:55:00 AM

From the BLS:

The Producer Price Index for finished goods edged down 0.1 percent in November, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Prices for finished goods decreased 0.2 percent in October and 0.1 percent in September.
In November, the decrease in the finished goods index can be traced to a 0.4-percent decline in prices for finished energy goods. By contrast, prices for finished goods less foods and energy advanced 0.1 percent.
This slight decline was expected, and was mostly due to a decline in energy products. However this is another indicator showing little inflation.

A key question for the Fed next week is if the below target "rate of inflation experienced so far this year has become ingrained in the economy" (using some of Bernanke's words from 2011 when he argued a small increase in inflation was transitory - and Bernanke was correct then).

To start to reduce asset purchases next week, the FOMC would probably have to argue that the current low inflation is transitory.