Corporate Margin Squeeze Coming As Producer Prices Soar 0.8% On Expectations Of 0.2%

Following concerns that China will be unable to funnel liquidity into its slowing economy due to latent inflation, the last thing the world needed was to learn that inflation, in this case Producer Prices, was still running at a blistering pace in the US. Alas, that is precisely what it got after September PPI printed up 0.8% from the month before (following the unchanged print in August) and 6.9% YoY. The number was above even the highest expectation from Wall Street strategists (consensus was 0.2%). And while PPI ex food and energy was up just 0.2%, try telling that to those 99% of the population whose income is barely sufficient to buy the, you guessed it, food and energy, which rose by 0.6% and 2.3% respectively. The biggest concern is the immediate impact on margins: producers’ rising costs likely to lead to further margin shrinkage “as firms choose to absorb increasing costs rather than pass them along to consumers,” says Bloomberg economist Joseph Brusuelas. Don't expect much respite in the CPI report to follow shortly.

Some amusing observations:

Finished foods:  Prices for finished consumer foods climbed 0.6 percent in September, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. Accounting for over eighty percent of the September advance, prices for fresh and dry vegetables increased 10.0 percent.


Intermediate foods:  The index for intermediate foods and feeds climbed 0.9 percent in September, the fourth straight advance. A 3.2-percent increase in prices for prepared animal feeds accounted for over eighty percent of the September rise in the intermediate foods index.


Crude foods:  The index for crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs fell 0.9 percent in September. From June to September, prices for crude foods moved up 2.9 percent following a 1.4-percent increase for the 3-month period ending in June. A major factor in the September monthly decrease was a 7.4-percent decline in the fluid milk index. Lower prices for slaughter hogs also contributed to the crude foods decrease.

Much more in the source.


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