Wholesale Inflation Increases To Record High As Supply Chain Disruptions Continue

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Harry Wilmerding Contributor
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The Producer Price Index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, rose 8.6% in the 12 months before September, marking the largest single-year increase since the metric was created in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Thursday.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the Producer Price Index (PPI) decreased 0.5% in September compared to a 0.7% increase in August. The PPI is a measurement of inflation before prices reach consumers, according to the Associated Press.

The 8.6% increase for the year ending in September is a record spike, though the figure jumped 8.3% in the year ending in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.4% in September, bringing the inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 5.4%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Wednesday. September’s year-over-year CPI figure is just a slight increase from August’s 5.3%. (RELATED: Weekly Jobless Claims Dip Below 300,000 For First Time Since March 2020)

Gasoline and food prices each increased by 1.2% in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experts believe the overall inflation surge is due to pandemic-related labor shortages and supply chain problems throughout the economy, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“It looks like some of these supply-chain and inventory challenges are going to stick with us for a bit longer—at least through the end of this year,” Omair Sharif, founder of Inflation Insights LLC, told the WSJ.

Thursday’s PPI report also showed wholesale core inflation, which excludes volatile categories like energy and food, increased by 0.2% in September and rose 6.8% over the last 12 months, according to the AP. Roughly 80% of the increase in wholesale prices resulted from a 1.3% spike in the price of final demand goods.

The wholesale prices for food increased 2% in September while energy prices increased 2.8%, the largest monthly increase since March.

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