Washington (awp/afp) – The rise in wholesale prices in the United States in April moved in line with general inflation, registering a slight slowdown compared to March, but remaining at a level still close to the record level recorded on last month.
According to the producer price index (PPI) published on Thursday, prices rose 11% year on year, slightly less than the 11.2% recorded in March, the month which marked the strongest acceleration since this index began to be calculated in 2010.
Excluding food and energy prices, which had been most affected by the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, the rise was 6.9%.
And, over one month, prices rose much more slowly than in March, at 0.5%, as expected by analysts, against 1.6%. Energy prices had indeed soared in March with the war in Ukraine.
The rise in prices over one month is 0.6%, excluding food and energy prices, against 0.9% in March.
“Coupled with the modest respite from inflation, (…) the PPI figures tentatively signal that price pressures may have peaked early in the second quarter,” said Mahir Rasheed, economist for Oxford Economics.
“However, with demand remaining quite dynamic and persistent difficulties on the supply side, (…) we (…) will wait for future PPI figures to confirm the effective decline in inflationary pressures”, a- he nuanced.
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, observes for his part that “the reduction in margins in April was general”.
“This is important because the huge growth in margins since the onset of Covid has been a key driver of the surge in inflation. A sustained decline in margins would alter the overall inflation picture, but a decline in one month is not final”, he explains.
The PPI index is a measure of inflation that takes into account prices from the point of view of manufacturers and sellers. The consumer price indices PCE and CPI measure the evolution of prices on the consumer side.
CPI inflation, which is a reference and on which pensions are notably indexed, slowed down a little in April, to 8.3% over one year against 8.5% in March. But the rise in prices remains at levels not seen since the very beginning of the 1980s.