Producer prices went nowhere in October

Producer prices were unchanged in October, according to the Department of Labour.

Economists had forecast that the producer price index (PPI) for final demand — sold to consumers — rose 0.3% from September.

Core PPI — which strips out the ever-fluctuating costs of food and energy — fell by 0.2% month-on-month, and rose 1.2% year-on-year, both less than expected.

The PPI is used as a forward-looking indicator for consumer-price inflation, since producers’ higher costs usually translates to more expensive items on the shelves.

Inflation has been one of the hottest topics on Wall Street since President-elect Donald Trump’s victory last week. His fiscal-policy plans include a $500 billion splurge on infrastructure and tax cuts across the board, which are expected to raise domestic demand and inflation.

Prices for final demand goods rose 0.4%, led by a jump in the index of energy prices. Food costs fell.

On the services side, the report showed that a 5.7% plunge in the costs of securities brokerage, dealing, investment advice, and related services was a major factor dragging the index lower.

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