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Wholesale inflation surged to a new record high Wednesday, after consumer inflation also hit record highs this week.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Producer Price Index, which measures inflation from wholesale producers, rose 11.2% annually between March 2021 and March 2022. That number is the highest year-over-year mark for producer inflation on record, from data that dates back to 2010. Producer inflation rose 1.4% monthly between February and March.
Final demand goods rose 15.7% annually and 2.3% monthly, matching the monthly increase in February. Wholesale food prices jumped 16.2% annually, 2.4% monthly, headlined by fruits and vegetables, grains and meat. Fresh fruit and melons rose 18.5% annually, while fresh and dry vegetables rose by a massive 81.5%. Wholesale grain prices rose 40.1% annually. Beef and veal products rose 16% annually, and processed young chickens rose 28.6%. Fish and shellfish climbed 19.7% year-over-year, and dairy products climbed 19.3% as well.
Wholesale energy prices rose 36.7% annually, headlined by liquefied natural gas, which saw a massive 91.4% increase, nearly doubling in price between 2021 and 2022. Notably, the Index reported that liquefied natural gas was one of a large number of items that were tested for seasonal price increases, and “[s]easonal tests did not indicate the presence of seasonality.” Residential natural gas was up 22.8% annually. Fuel costs also rocketed upwards: wholesale gasoline prices rose 59.9% between March 2021 and March 2022, and no. 2 diesel fuel rose 63.8%. Home heating oil and distillates more than doubled, climbing 105.9% annually.
The Producer Price Index results come just one day after the Bureau released its Consumer Price Index, measuring consumer inflation. The CPI soared to 8.5% annually, the highest level in 41 years. The Daily Wire reported:
The CPI leapt 8.5% from a year ago, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday. Taking out food and energy, the CPI still increased by 6.5%.
The soaring inflation has not been seen since the late 1970s, when Carter was president, and the early ’80s, after Ronald Reagan took over…
“Price increases came from many of the usual culprits,” CNBC reported. “Food rose 1% for the month and 8.8% over the year. Energy prices were up 11% and 32% respectively, while shelter cost, which make up about one-third of the CPI weighting, increased another 0.5% on the month, making the 12-month gain a blistering 5%.”
The Daily Wire further reported that while Biden administration has continued to push messaging blaming inflation on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, calling it “Putin’s Price Hike,” inflation has steadily risen in the months since Biden took office.
Inflation was at 1.4% in January of 2021, and immediately began to rise. Inflation hit 5% in May 2021, crossed the 6% mark in October, passed 7% in December, and had reached 7.9% by February — all before hitting the latest record high. Russia did not invade Ukraine until February 24.
At the same time, the Federal Reserve’s favored measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, rose 6.4% annually, surpassing the 6.1% rate the Fed recorded in January and making it the highest inflation rate measured by the PCEPI since 1982, The New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, a recent poll found that more than 8 in 10 Americans are hurt by inflation. The Emerson College poll, conducted between March 18-20, found that 83% of respondents said they were feeling hardship because of rising inflation. The same poll found that a plurality of voters, 36.6%, believed the economy was the most important issue facing the country.
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