"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PPI, Retail Sales, And Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

I've been terribly sick - upper respiratory tract infection. There is no joy in the Great Redoubt right now.

The Producer Price Index and the November Retail Sales figures are out right now - have been for a few hours, in point of fact.

October saw the PPI up 0.4% (far better than the expected 0.8%), with "core" PPI declining 0.6%. For November, analysts were expecting a 0.7% increase in PPI, with a 0.3% increase in the core. Retail sales were surprisingly strong last month as well, showing 1.2% increase; analysts weren't that optimistic about November, and called for only a 0.6% improvement.

If you've been paying attention the news, and not to a horrible hacking cough, you already know how all of this came down. But what the heck, let's have a look anyway.

The official word on November PPI is a 0.8% increase in overall finished goods PPI, with a 0.3% increase in "core" PPI. The PPI increased 1.0% for finished foods (rising on eggs, fresh fruits, and melons) and 2.1% for finished energy (mostly on gasoline prices). Meanwhile, retail sales were up 0.8% overall.

At 2:15 PM EST, look for the FOMC to announce that they are concerned about current economic conditions, and that they are holding the Fed Funds target rate to between 0 and 25 bps. One of the Fed Bank Chairmen will probably vote in opposition.

No witty commentary today. Sick.

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