Housing Starts Plummet To Second Lowest Ever At 479K, Finished Consumer Food PPI Jumps By Highest Since 1974
Stagflation, bitchez. PPI in February doubled to 1.6% on expectations of 0.7%, compared to 0.8% previously, and 5.6% Y/Y! This is the largest increase in finished goods prices since a 1.9-percent advance in June 2009. At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods moved up 2.0 percent, and the crude goods index climbed 3.4 percent. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods advanced 5.6 percent for the 12 months ended February 2011, the largest 12-month increase since a 5.9-percent rise in March 2010." And the stunner: "The index for finished consumer foods surged 3.9 percent in February, the largest increase since a 4.2-percent climb in November 1974. About seventy percent of the February rise can be traced to higher prices for fresh and dry vegetables, which jumped 48.7 percent. Advances in the indexes for meats and dairy products also were major factors in the increase in the finished consumer foods index." And while inflation is everywhere, or at least for items people need, the housing market is now official dead. February housing starts came at 479K on expectations of 566K, a massive 22.5% collapse from revised January data, and the second lowest ever, better only to April 2009's 477K. Overall: complete stagflationary disaster, and one which means the Fed will use any excuse for QE3, inflation be damned.