Wholesale prices rose 7.3% in June from a year ago for a record surge

Finance news

Wholesale prices for June rose more than expected in another sign that inflation is moving at a faster pace than markets had anticipated.

The producer price index, which measures what companies get for the goods they produce, increased 1% from May and jumped 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. That marked the second month in a row in which the PPI set a record for a data series that goes back to 2010.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a 0.6% monthly increase. Stripping out volatile food, energy and trade prices, the core PPI increased 0.5%, in line with estimates.

The PPI headline surge comes a day after the Labor Department reported a 5.4% year-over-year jump in the consumer price index, the biggest move for that measure since 2008.

The producer price index differs from the CPI in that it measures final demand prices that companies get for their goods. The CPI tracks what consumers actually pay at the register.

As with the consumer measure, the PPI traced much of its gain to surging prices related to the auto and truck industries.

Specifically, 20% of the June jump in producer prices came from a 10.5% bump in autos and auto parts retailing. Meanwhile, 70% of the increase came from trade services, which were up 2.1%.

Energy also played a big role, with final demand prices rising 2.1% in June. Food prices rose 0.8%.

Federal Reserve officials have been watching inflation closely, they though maintain that the current run-up in prices has come mainly from factors that will pass as the economy gets closer to its pre-pandemic normal.

They cite factors such as supply chain bottlenecks, extraordinary demand gains that will abate, and “base effects,” or comparisons to last year’s shutdown economy that distort the current inflation numbers.

However, company officials consistently have cited higher inflation in their earnings reports this year.

“There’s a ton of inflation going on,” Fastenal CEO Dan Florness said on the company’s earnings call Tuesday. “There’s inflation, because of disruption in shipping, i.e., the cost of moving the container, and this is pretty public information, so, I don’t need to cite figures. But it’s gotten really expensive to move a container across the ocean.”

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday in remarks prepared for a congressional hearing that inflation has “increased notably” but likely will subside in the months ahead.

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