And just like that, the BLS is reacquainted with soaring food prices.
Moments ago the US government reported that producer prices, as part of a newly reindexed PPI series, spiked by 2.1% from a year ago, or a whopping 0.6% surge in April, the biggest monthly jump since January 2010, and up from the 0.5% increase in March.
So what caused this surge in producer prices? Why food costs of course, which in April soared by 2.7%.
Here is the explanation for the finished goods price surge:
Special grouping, Finished goods: The index for finished goods moved up 0.7 percent in April. (The finished goods index represents about two-thirds of final demand goods, through the exclusion of the weight for government purchases and exports. The finished goods index represents about one-quarter of overall final demand.) The broad-based increase was led by the index for finished consumer foods, which advanced 2.4 percent. Prices for finished goods less foods and energy and for finished consumer energy goods rose 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. Within finished goods, higher prices for meats, gasoline, light motor trucks, residential electric power, processed poultry, and eggs for fresh use outweighed lower prices for residential natural gas, passenger cars, and soft drinks.
It wasn't just finished goods that was burned by food prices. Processed goods by intermediate demand...
In April, the index for processed eggs jumped 25.3 percent. Prices for ethanol, meats, gasoline, and commercial electric power also increased. Conversely, the index for jet fuel declined 5.3 percent. Prices for diesel fuel, primary basic organic chemicals, natural gas to electric utilities, and soybean cake and meal also fell
Unprocessed goods too...
The index for unprocessed goods for intermediate demand rose 0.4 percent in April after edging down 0.1 percent a month earlier. Leading the advance, prices for unprocessed foodstuffs and feedstuffs moved up 3.6 percent.
In April, a 9.4-percent jump in prices for slaughter chickens led the advance in the index for unprocessed goods for intermediate demand. The indexes for slaughter hogs, corn, soybeans, carbon steel scrap, and crude petroleum also moved up.
And so on. The good news however is that as food prices soar, and as rents hit all time highs, wages are rising in lockstep. Oh wait, nevermind.