U.S. Producer Prices Surge 11%, Exceeding Expectations

U.S. producer prices spiked 11% in April when compared with the previous year, a figure that was worse than expected. Food and shipping costs continue to add to the inflation burden on consumers and producers, which is expected to continue for the next several months at least.

The Labor Department said Thursday that its producer price index — which measures inflation before it reaches consumers — climbed 0.5% in April from March. The jump was less steep than March’s number, however, when it jumped 1.6%.

On the positive side, the year-over-year increase in April fell from the 11.5% annual gain in March, representing the first decline in that figure since December 2020. The monthly gain of 0.5% was also the smallest in seven months.

Prices continue to rise at record paces, however. Food costs rose 1.5% in April over March while shipping and warehousing prices spiked 3.6%.

The producer price report came just a day after the U.S. Department of Labor issued its consumer price data for April. Inflation spiked 8.3% last month when compared with a year ago. April’s number was a bit lower than the four-decade high in March of 8.5% while inflation rose 0.3% in April from March, the smallest monthly increase in eight months.

“Still, there were plenty of signs in the consumer price report that inflation will remain stubbornly high, likely for the rest of this year and into 2023,” AP Economics Writer Christopher Rugaber said of the report.

Rent prices soared as an increasing number of apartments move away from monthly rent payments in search of new tenants. Airline tickets rose to their highest point since the late 60’s while food prices continued to soar as well.

The FAO Food Price Index — which measures consumer food costs on a global scale — decreased by 0.8% after a record high in the previous month. Prices of seed oils and other grains, which were affected by the war in Ukraine, declined after record spikes.

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