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Tipsheet

Another Inflation Metric Just Set a Record High

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File

Following Wednesday's bad economic news regarding the staggering inflation hitting American consumers, Thursday morning's release of the Producer Price Index was more record-setting bad news that suggests consumers won't soon see much easing of prices. 

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "the Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.2 percent in December," not a seemingly large jump and less than the 0.4 percent that was predicted. But when looking back over calendar year 2021, BLS reported that "final demand prices moved up 9.7 percent in 2021, the largest calendar-year increase since data were first calculated in 2010." 

The Producer Price Index, a metric used to gauge inflation upstream from consumers, saw the largest gains in December for "fuels and lubricants retailing" which were up 13 percent, along with other sectors of the production economy including "airline passenger services, food retailing, machinery and vehicle wholesaling, machinery and equipment parts and supplies wholesaling, and traveler accommodation services." 

In each month of 2021, the year-over-year increase seen in the PPI continued to grow, which explains in part the reason many producers announced price increases set to take effect in the beginning of 2022. Temporary or "transitory" inflation — as the Biden administration tried to claim was the case — can be weathered by many producers without passing cost increases along to consumers. But the lasting inflation that was seen during Biden's first year in office means that producers' stock of cheaper goods has run out and now they're forced to take the budgetary hit caused by higher raw material, component, and production costs. 

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As a result, and contrary to Democrat talking points, final prices are increasing not because of so-called corporate greed, but because of their costs have skyrocketed.

While Biden has half-heartedly acknowledged the pain being felt by Americans due to inflation, he brushes aside the urgency of the issue and labels accusations he's not taking it seriously "malarkey." But Biden's multiple failed attempts to force his Build Back Better budget through Congress — paired with his new pet project of shattering Senate norms to focus on getting Democrats' federal takeover of elections passed — show that he apparently doesn't care to address the economic pain caused by his administration.

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