Producer Price Index Up 0.1 Percent in February

The Producer Price Index for final demand edged up 0.1% in February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices fell 0.1% in both January and December. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index moved up 1.9% for the 12 months ended in February.

In February, the increase in the final demand index can be traced to a 0.4% rise in prices for final demand goods. The index for final demand services was unchanged.

The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services inched up 0.1% in February following a 0.2% advance in January. For the 12 months ended in February, prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services climbed 2.3%.

Final demand goods: The index for final demand goods increased 0.4% in February following three consecutive declines. Over 80 percent of the advance can be traced to prices for final demand energy, which rose 1.8%. The index for final demand goods less foods and energy edged up 0.1%. Conversely, prices for final demand foods fell 0.3%.

Product detail: Forty percent of the increase in the index for final demand goods is attributable to a 3.3% rise in gasoline prices. The indexes for diesel fuel, jet fuel, integrated microcircuits, residual fuels, and beef and veal also moved higher. In contrast, prices for fresh and dry vegetables declined 12.8%.The indexes for iron and steel scrap and for residential natural gas also decreased.

Final demand services: Prices for final demand services were unchanged in February following a 0.3% rise in January. In February, a 0.3% increase in the index for final demand services less trade, transportation, and warehousing offset a decline of 0.4% in margins for final demand trade services and a 1.3% decrease in the index for final demand transportation and warehousing services. (Trade indexes measure changes in margins received by wholesalers and retailers.)

Product detail: In February, prices for traveler accommodation services rose 5.3%. The indexes for machinery, equipment, parts, and supplies wholesaling; food retailing; portfolio management; and legal services also moved higher. Conversely, margins for fuels and lubricants retailing fell 10.5%. The indexes for apparel, jewelry, footwear, and accessories retailing; airline passenger services; health, beauty, and optical goods retailing; and nonresidential real estate services also declined.