MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Producer Price Index up 1.4 percent in March and 11.2 percent year-on-year
The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 1.4 percent in March, following advances of 0.9 percent in February and 1.2 percent in January. The index rose 11.2 percent for the 12 months ended in March, the largest increase since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010. Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services moved up 0.9 percent in March, the largest advance since rising 1.0 percent in January 2021. For the 12 months ended in March, the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services increased 7.0 percent.
Consumer Price Index up 1.2 percent in March and 8.5 percent year-on-year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.2 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.8 percent in February. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 8.5 percent, the highest annual pace in 41 years. The all items less food and energy index rose 0.3 percent in March and was up 6.5 percent year-on-year, the largest 12-month change in nearly 40 years.
March Small Business Optimism Index slips another 2.4 points as inflation rises
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased in March by 2.4 points to 93.2, the third consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98. Thirty-one percent of owners reported that inflation was the single most important problem in their business, up five points from February and the highest reading since the first quarter of 1981. Inflation has now replaced “labor quality” as the number one problem.