February Producer Price Index plunged 0.6 percent, but up 1.3 percent year-on-year
The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.6 percent in February after rising 0.5 percent in January, but was up 1.3 percent year-on-year. 60 percent of the decline in the final demand index can be traced to a 0.9-percent decrease in prices for final demand goods, whereas the index for final demand services moved down 0.3 percent. Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services inched down 0.1 percent in February, the first decline since falling 0.1 percent in June 2019, but was up 1.4 percent year-on-year.
Initial unemployment claims fall by 4,000 in weekly report
In the week ending March 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 211,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 214,000, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average.
Optimism of small business owners had moved up again in February prior to impacts from coronavirus
Small business owners surveyed prior to the economic impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic expressed slightly higher levels of optimism in February with the NFIB Optimism Index moving up 0.2 points to 104.5, a reading among the top 10 percent in the 46-year history of the survey. Those expecting better business conditions increased and job creation and openings improved as well. Real sales expectations declined along with capital expenditure and inventory plans.