Producer Prices and Business Optimism Up in July
According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Monday Economic Report for this week, Producer prices for final demand goods and services rose 0.3% in July after being essentially flat in June. It was the strongest gain since January. Producer prices for final demand goods edged up 0.1% in July, with food prices rising 0.5%. On a YoY basis, food and energy prices decreased 0.2% and 16.8%, respectively. Over the past 12 months, producer prices for final demand goods and services have risen 0.8%, up from 0.2% in June. Core producer prices increased 2.7% YoY, the same pace as June.
The Small Business Optimism Index increased from 91.0 in June to 91.9 in July, the highest reading since November. Small business owners, however, continued to express anxiety about the economy, with the uncertainty index rising to a 25-month high. The top “single most important problem” was the difficulty in finding enough qualified labor (23%), followed closely by inflation (21%).