Consumer Price and Producer Price Indices Edge Upward
February 19, 2010 - Rounding out a data-heavy week, core consumer prices fell a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in January, the first calculable decline since 1982. Core prices are usually watched closely by economists because they exclude food and energy costs.
Overall, January's CPI increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in January. Led by high energy costs, the CPI has increased 2.6% in the past year, while the core CPI has seen just a 1.6% increase.
The CPI report comes amid the release of last month's producer price data. According to the Labor Department, the PPI for finished goods increased a seasonally adjusted 1.4% during the month of January. The core PPI, which excludes food prices and volatile energy was up 0.31% last month, after remaining stagnate in December. These are the largest gains seen since November of last year.
Additionally, January's leading economic indicators climbed 0.3% in January. Having risen for the past ten months, these recent increases are spurred by an improvement in the financial markets and also by a manufacturing upturn. The indicators, which usually gauge the economic outlook for the next three to six months, are assuring that the economy will continue to grow into the spring.