A Brand New PPI

Perhaps that reason that homebuilders are feeling dour about the new construction industry is indicative in the 16% decline in Housing Starts, now down to an annualized 888K units.  Building permits also fell by 5%. Weather of course could play a factor since they generally build homes in the out of doors and most states in our union shut down at the threat of snow.

A brand new Producer Price Index was released this morning by the federal government.  Hitherto the present, the PPI just tracked the wholesale cost of goods sold.  Henceforth it will also include services as well (banking, healthcare, construction, etc.)  The new PPI is a measure of inflation at the level of production and is released a day before the Consumer (retail) iteration.  PPI was reported at 0.2%, double the 0.1% expected.  Doesn’t sound like much, but it equates to an extra 1.2% of inflation for the year, which is bad news if you like low interest rates.