Housing Starts Plummet To Second Lowest Ever At 479K, Finished Consumer Food PPI Jumps By Highest Since 1974

Tyler Durden's picture

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.


And starts:

Graph: Housing Starts: Total: New Privately Owned Housing Units Started


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pendragon's picture

stagflation in hard numbers

Popo's picture

Undeniable, mathematical proof of Bernanke's outright failure.

There is no other possible way to spin this.  Here it is in hard numbers.  Bernanke's policy is dangerous, and his continued adherence to quantitative easing is dishonest at best -- traitorous at worst.

Bernanke is a direct and immediate threat to American security and stability.



Mercury's picture

There is no other possible way to spin this.

Bernanke isn't bi-flating he's bi-winning.


And don't even try to parse through figures like this, you can't handle it, your face will melt off...

Upswaller's picture

Didn't the freeze in Mexico have something to do with higher food prices?  I can't stand what's happening either, but we should be circumspect.



Upswaller's picture

Yep, any kind of additional information is junk worthy.  As much as I love this site, the trolls are certainly trying.

Convervative Connection's picture

Next time you go food shopping, pay special attention to any product that has a "New Low Price" tag on it. I'd be willing to bet that you will find that the package size is now 7, 11, 14, or 15 oz. Prior to the "New Low Price", it was 8, 12, or 16 oz.

I shop at several different grocery stores (depending on what other stops I have to make that day) and I've seen it on numerous items at all of them over the last month. I've observed this in dairy products, cereals, canned goods, etc.

They will keep the "New Low Price" for a few months and then slowly creep it back to the "normal" price inside of a year. Based on the new package sizes, such items will be cost 10-15% more when that happens as compared to the cost a month or two ago.

truth in data's picture

I've noticed this too....I actually created a "social" website (yes I hate that term) that allows people to submit info around prices they paid and product package sizes.  Its only me and my friends submitting data now but I'd love to get some people from this site contributing data so we can get some real transparency into what's going on and how the average citizen is being impacted.  Check it out (always free) at http://www.collectivecpi.com



QQQBall's picture

Another "snow" excuse. I saw a guy blaming good weatehr for more people filing for UE bennies. People don't file as much when teh weather is bad? Ha!

Toburk's picture

Negative real interest rates, hurrah.


Get out the Mission Accomplished banner.

The Axe's picture

dollar down   market up   that is all you need to know....  lol

Ray1968's picture

I don't remember who said it, but.... "evil is not making money, evil is rigging the game so you don't lose"

This market is a rigged game. Ben will pump, and the market will go up.

Twindrives's picture

Quick Ben, pump some liquidity into the system.  Your junkie needs a fix.

cossack55's picture

Conversely, demand for piano boxes and shipping crates at highest levels since 1930.

The Axe's picture

Two downgrades on AAPL...can't remember last time that has happen...maybe NEVER....haha

Mike2756's picture

That's ok, nflx upgraded to screaming buy, more than makes up for the aapl downgrades.

TexDenim's picture

"About seventy percent of the February rise can be traced to higher prices for fresh and dry vegetables, which jumped 48.7 percent."

This quote suggests to me that the numbers don't mean much. Fresh and dry vegetables as a barometer of the US economy? I don't think so.

jesse livermoore's picture

keep drinking the kool aid tex

TheGreatPonzi's picture

Who talked about a "barometer of the US economy"? 

If you don't understand what inflation is, maybe you should go back to MarketWatch or the HuffPo. 

youngman's picture

Someone on  the Yahoo Finance  board asked what the PPI was?????  On the SLV site...LOL

Temporalist's picture

I guess being on Yahoo, a search engine powered by Google, it would be too hard to type in a search for PPI.

Doubleguns's picture

Think greens and  potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. About all the unemployed, and soon to include the employed, can afford.

The Axe's picture

No free salad bar for you!!!! 

jus_lite_reading's picture

Correct. Americans dont eat fruit and vegetables. What matters? Check the price rise in "Monsanto engineered Franken-cheese" and "Monsanto engineered Franken-beef" and "Monsanto engineered Franken-bread" and Monsanto engineered Franken-Secret sauce" et viola! You have the typical American diet- a Delicious Franken BigMac! So far the price is stable so BEnron is doing GOD's work! GOOD JOB BEN!

duo's picture

don't forget HFCS and roundup laced lettuce.

bingaling's picture

That quote talks about inflation . The state of the economy is reflected in the new housing starts quote . I can see that when God made you he decided to make up for your lack of brains with big breasts .

TexDenim's picture

Oh, you are so sexist. You hurt my feelings! No free hugs for you bingaling!

HoofHearted's picture

Tex, which are the foodstuffs with shortest shelflife? So what should be the leading indicator?

Would Twinkies be a better barometer of inflation with their 100 years of creamy cakelike goodness before rotting?

Or maybe you're just laughing at all of the Americans who don't eat their fruits and veggies.

Laugh now, but when this ball continues rolling, you will have been warned.

TexDenim's picture

True about short shelf life, but these numbers bounce around so much that short term they are meaningless. If I had known how much crap would be thrown at me for this, I would not have posted.

Chump's picture

What the fuck?  These numbers (rate of inflation in food stuffs) don't "bounce around."  They only increase at more or less volatile rates.  Right now it's more volatile, to the point that broke ass chumps like me are wondering where in the fuck we're going to manage to cut a food budget of $50/week.

So no, these numbers aren't "meaningless."  Too much more of this and the shitstorm gets started proper in this country.  I'm going to feed my son, one way or the other.  Full stop.

Shock and Aweful's picture

It is not a barometer of the economy as much as it is a measure of the increased cost of shit that people consume everyday.

More money spent on necessities like food and fuel....much less is spent on discretionary items - like all that worthless shit people buy at WalMart and Best Buy.

Since we subscribe to a ridiculous, farse of an economy...where consumption must constantly rise...this is bad news,  and probably means that there will be less "Growth" overall in the coming months.

So...is it a direct "barometer" of te economy...no.  But it is a "barometer" of the commodity that runs the economy...which is the purchasing power of the dollar.

Kaiser Sousa's picture

"It's all good"...

Ben Bernanke

bingaling's picture

Retards answer to the problem -The Fed fucking threw the kitchen sink at this already and the results have been horrific . Their answer seems to be we need to throw bigger kitchen sinks . The only people they have saved work on one street in NYC . They act like they saved the world when all they really did was make wall street the biggest welfare case in history .

docj's picture

When all you have is a hammer...

RockyRacoon's picture

...everything looks like a sink.

Nah.  That was dumb.   I must be bleary-brained today.  Again?

Big lead on CNBC this morning:  "Time to buy the home builders?"

Who are these people?

docj's picture

All going according to plan, right Timmy and Benron?

FEDbuster's picture

Hyperstagflation, bitchez!

westboundnup's picture

When one manipulates data for a long period of time, a crisis is an excellent opportunity to perform a "true up."  Think this data would've been released if there had been no Japanese disaster?

Pants McPants's picture

Exactly.  I believe the accounting term for this is "taking a bath" or something similar.

jus_lite_reading's picture

They do not give a flying shit about you or I!!!! They only care about protecting the wealthy banksters via POMO stock market injection bullshit. We live in a F*&Ked up world which has seen its last day.

B9K9's picture

Yep. The chosen had constructed such a beautiful world - artificial 'debt' backed by very, very real taxes. No one wonder they were willing to sacrifice the lives of ordinary Americans to preserve such an incredible system.

Ah, but it was never destined to be; thank goodness (@ least from their perspective) their dual citizenship papers will come in handy.

FEDbuster's picture

Greenspan recently said "don't underestimate the paper wealth effect".  If people feel like there may be some hope for retirement (due inflating their IRAs and 401Ks), they may go out and spend a little money now.

As for taxes, only half of Americans pay income taxes anymore.  That number will decrease steadily over the next decade.  They will have to go to sales/VAT taxes in order to steal money from the citizenry.  Of course if the FED ends up holding all Treasury debt, the interest paid on it will be refunded to the Treasury for the idiots in DC to spend again.

Loss of reserve currency status will be what sinks this ship, but that will be after WW3.

oogs66's picture

Sad to admit but I had CNBC on when the numbers hit.  Liesman has totally lost it.  He tried to say that the Fed policy is deflationary since the commodity inflation is stopping people from buying, thereby creating defaltion.  It hurt just to listen to him.  If he hadn't 'jumped the shark' before, this has to be the moment.  It was just such garbage.  And of course the only number he would talk about was core PPI because that came in at expecations.  Insanity!

ufamizm's picture

can't lose what you don't have

TheGreatPonzi's picture

Just because a media has a famous name does not mean it is not utterly pathetic and ridiculous. 

Do you know the Pravda? 

So stop watching this shit and save your nervous system from overheating. 

You only lose the infomercials and the big boobs of the anchorettes.