Headline PPI Skews Wholesale Inflation Reading

Railroad Oil Tank Cars
Railroad Oil Tank Cars

Friday's big government release for economic data was the Producer Price Index (PPI). The aim is to measure wholesale inflation to determine what will happen to consumer prices and consumer inflation in the months ahead. Expectations were very tame, as we have seen stable commodity prices and import/export prices despite the billions of dollars being magically pumped into the economy each month.

The Labor Department reported that the headline PPI was up by 0.5% and the core reading (ex-food and energy) was up 0.1%. Bloomberg was looking for only 0.2% on the headline broad PPI and was looking for only 0.1% on the core PPI reading. Keep in mind that the prior month's reading was -0.7% on the headline and 0.1% on the core.

The higher headline reading was blamed on higher energy costs being up 1.3%. On a year-over-year basis, the gain is 1.7%, and that suggests that inflation is being kept at bay. Investors should not have any major fear here from seeing this number.

Investors will be looking for the industrial production report for the month of May at 9:15 a.m. EST. Bloomberg is calling for a gain of 0.2% on production and is looking for capacity utilization of 77.9%.

Perhaps the most important reading will be consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan, which is a more current preliminary June reading. Bloomberg's consensus is at 84.5%, which would be the same as last month.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy