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Tipsheet

Producer Price Index Skyrockets as Inflation Rages Out of Control

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File

The Producer Price Index — which measures inflation upstream from consumers — rose 1.4 percent in March and 11.2 percent in the past year,  a new all-time high since the metric was first measured 12 years ago in 2010. 

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The news comes on the heels of Tuesday's announcement that consumer inflation hit a new 40-year high in March.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the record-setting level of inflation for producers was driven by diesel fuel prices which were up 20.4 percent along with gasoline, fresh and dry vegetables, jet fuel, iron and steel scrap, and electric power. Meanwhile, producer costs for beef and veal were down 7.3 percent in March while prices for natural gas and cold rolled steel declined.

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Another record-high number for inflation faced by producers means higher inflation for consumers down the line as companies — contrary to what Biden says about their alleged greed — pass costs along to consumers in order to keep their bottom line manageable and remain in business. 

The PPI is another piece of the inflation equation that's proving painful for Americans and a headache for the Biden administration. Workers' wages continue to be outpaced by consumer inflation by nearly three percent, producers continue to face higher costs to create the items that make their way to market leading to higher prices, and a not insignificant number of jobs lost to the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to be recovered. 

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