10 commodities: How prices are changing

Lumber prices, tool prices and more from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Kenneth Clark
Editor in Chief
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As macroeconomic metrics go, the Producer Price Index may not be as celebrated as the Consumer Price Index. But the PPI is certainly a closely watched metric, especially for upstream manufacturers and wholesalers.

A notable feature of the PPI (which until 1978 was known as the Wholesale Price Index) is the sheer scope of its tables, which contain detailed information on categories of interest to hardware and building supply dealers.

Here are ten such commodity types, and how their Producer Price Index changed year-over-year, and also how they changed in recent months. 

The above numbers are extracted from bureau’s Intermediate Demand by Commodity Type table. The “Intermediate demand” table tracks price changes for products sold to businesses as inputs to production, as opposed to the bureau’s Final Demand which tracks price changes for commodities sold for personal consumption or sold to governments or as exports.

Overall, the Producer Price Index for final demand declined 0.5 percent in March, seasonally adjusted, the bureau reported.

The Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index use prices from a different set of categories and commodities in setting their indexes. Here's a look at how the CPI has changed over the past year in three categories relevant to hardware and building supply dealers.

The bureau’s latest PPI and CPI releases—in their full-blown, data-intense density—updated through March are available here and here.

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