2018 Economic Calendar
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Released On 4/10/2018 8:30:00 AM For Mar, 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
PPI-FD - M/M change0.2 %0.1 %0.0 % to 0.4 %0.3 %
PPI-FD - Y/Y change2.8 %3.0 %
PPI-FD less food & energy - M/M change0.2 %0.2 %0.2 % to 0.3 %0.3 %
PPI-FD less food & energy - Y/Y change2.5 %2.7 %
PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services - M/M change0.4 %0.3 %0.2 % to 0.4 %0.4 %
PPI-FD less food, energy & trade services - Y/Y change2.7 %2.9 %

There is a little more inflation at the wholesale level, including for primary metals, but the acceleration is modest. Producer prices rose 0.3 percent in March which is 2 tenths above Econoday's consensus with ex-food & ex-energy also up 0.3 percent and ex-food, ex-energy & ex-trade services up 0.4 percent, both of which are 1 tenth above consensus.

Part of the pressure does reflect a jump in steel mill products, up 1.9 percent in the month with steel scrap up 4.3 percent. This is no surprise given reports out of the factory sector that steel and aluminum prices jumped in initial reaction to tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

Another source of pressure, and one not related to tariffs at least in March, was a 2.2 percent wholesale jump in food prices which includes a 32 percent snapback in vegetables which plunged 27 percent the month before. Energy held down prices in the month, slipping 2.1 percent following February's 0.5 percent dip.

And much of today's report doesn't show much pressure at all, including only a 0.2 percent gain for the closely watched trade services subcomponent which tracks price effects at retailers and wholesalers. This year-on-year rate is up only 2.0 percent in contrast to the 3.0 percent overall rate.

Still 3.0 percent is noticeable growth though this reading peaked back in November last year at 3.1 percent. There are hints right now of building capacity stress tied to longer delivery times and lack of highly skilled labor but the pressures are still modest and as yet aren't raising the heat on the Federal Reserve to pick up its rate hike path. Watch tomorrow for March consumer prices where very moderate readings are the expectation.

Consensus Outlook
Amid reports of price volatility for steel and aluminum, the March producer price report could show the first definitive effects of U.S. tariffs. But forecasters aren't calling for much impact in March, at a consensus 0.1 percent gain though the high estimate is at 0.4 percent. Less food and energy is seen up 0.2 percent with less food, energy and trade services expected to rise 0.3 percent.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a family of indexes that measures 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
With the redefined and expanded PPI Final Demand series, energy still creates monthly volatility. However, services and construction have softened the headline and core numbers.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
Year-on-year change, both overall and when excluding food and energy, offers a more accessible view of trends than month-to-month change.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/112/153/144/105/96/137/118/99/1210/1011/912/11
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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