MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Inflation tracker Producer Price Index up 0.3 percent in November and 7.4 percent year-on-year
The Producer Price Index for final demand advanced 0.3 percent in November, seasonally adjusted, the same as the previous two months, and was up 7.4 percent year-on-year. Most of the increase in the index for final demand in November was attributable to a 0.4-percent advance in prices for final demand services. The index for final demand goods inched up 0.1 percent. Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services moved up 0.3 percent in November after rising 0.2 percent in October and were up 4.9 percent year-on-year.
Consumer sentiment rises 4.0 percent in early December survey, but still down 16.3 percent year-on-year
Consumer sentiment rose 4% above November, recovering most of the losses from November but remaining low from a historical perspective and down 16.3% year-on-year. All components of the index lifted, with one-year business conditions surging 14% and long-term business conditions increasing a more modest 6%. Year-ahead inflation expectations improved considerably but remained relatively high, falling from 4.9% to 4.6% in December, the lowest reading in 15 months but still well above 2 years ago.
Concrete prices, volatility continue torrid pace as lumber normalizes
The prices of building materials decreased 0.3% in November (not seasonally adjusted) following 0.5% and 0.1% declines in September and October, respectively. The index for goods inputs to residential construction, including energy, fell 0.8% in November. The index was led lower by a 5.3% drop in energy input prices as the indices of regular unleaded gasoline and #2 diesel fuel—which make up more than 80% of energy inputs to residential construction—decreased 6.7% and 4.5%, respectively.