Inflation at the Producer Level in June – Bloated by Gas

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Indexes (PPI) for June. Inflation in prices received by producers (prior to sales to consumers) rose 0.4% in June from May (a 4.4% annual pace) owing largely to an increase in gasoline prices. Core prices (i.e., excluding the volatile categories of food and energy) increased 0.2%. Over the 12 months ending in June prices and core prices have increased 1.9% and 1.8%, respectively.

Among building materials, softwood lumber prices declined 0.8% in June from May, flattening out in recent months but up from year-ago levels. OSB prices rose 3.9% in June but remain roughly in line with levels since their collapse in mid-2013.

Gypsum prices rose 3.0% over the month, reclaiming roughly half of the declines from recent months. Gypsum prices have risen 7.1% in the last 12 months, are up 49.5% from their early 2011 low, and remain above their 2006 housing boom peak.

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