2012 Economic Calendar
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Producer Price Index  
Released On 5/11/2012 8:30:00 AM For Apr, 2012
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
PPI - M/M change0.0 %0.0 %-0.2 % to 0.4 %-0.2 %
PPI less food & energy - M/M change0.3 %0.2 %0.0 % to 0.3 %0.2 %
PPI -Yr/Yr change2.8 %1.9 %
PPI less food & energy - Yr/Yr change2.9 %2.8 %
PPI - level194.2 index level
Core PPI - level181.5 index level

Weaker energy cost pulled down the headline PPI in the latest report. The PPI in April fell 0.2 percent after a flat reading in March. Market expectations were for no change for April's headline number. The core PPI, however, rose 0.2 percent following a 0.3 percent boost in March. The consensus forecast was for a 0.2 percent increase.

By major components, energy dropped 1.4 percent after declining 1.0 percent in March.
Gasoline prices declined 1.7 percent after a 2.0 percent dip the month before. Food cost inflation was steady at 0.2 percent.

Within the core, nearly a quarter of the April rise was attributable to a 0.4-percent advance in the index for pharmaceutical preparations. Higher prices for civilian aircraft also were a factor in the increase in the finished core index. The "usual suspects" for monthly volatility-passenger cars, light trucks, and tobacco components-each rose only 0.1 percent for the month of April

For the overall PPI, the year-ago rate in April was 1.9 percent, compared to 2.8 in March (seasonally adjusted). The core rate in April eased to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent the month before. On a not seasonally adjusted basis for April, the year-ago headline PPI was up 1.9 percent compared to 2.8 percent for March while the core was up 2.7 percent in April versus 2.9 percent the prior month on an NSA year-ago basis.

Today's numbers are seen by some as giving the Fed more room for additional easing. But JP Morgan's surprise losses are this morning's key focus and futures have been weak and somewhat volatile prior to market open for equities.

Consensus Outlook
The producer price index was unchanged in March after surging 0.4 percent in February. The core PPI, however, posted a 0.3 percent rise, following a gain of 0.2 percent in February. A big part of the core increase came from a 0.8 percent jump in prices for passenger cars and a 0.7 percent jump for light trucks.

By major components, energy decreased 1.0 percent, following a 1.3 percent spike in February. Gasoline dipped 2.0 percent after a 4.3 percent boost the prior month. Food increased 0.2 percent after dipping 0.1 percent in February.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a family of indexes that measure the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services. PPIs measure price change from the perspective of the seller. Effective with the January 2014 PPI data release in February 2014, BLS transitioned from the Stage of Processing (SOP) to the Final Demand-Intermediate Demand (FD-ID) aggregation system. The headline PPI (for Final Demand) measures price changes for goods, services, and construction sold to final demand: personal consumption, capital investment, government purchases, and exports.  Why Investors Care
It is always a good idea to look at more than a few months of data to get a sense of changes in established trends. Monthly changes in the PPI are mainly volatile because of sharp fluctuations in food and energy prices. The core PPI eliminates the sharper fluctuations.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
Yearly changes tend to smooth out more severe monthly fluctuations and give a better idea of the underlying rate of inflation. Even with the smoother trend, note that the core PPI does not fluctuate as much as the total PPI.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2012 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/182/163/154/125/116/137/138/149/1310/1211/1412/13
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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