Each day the Research staff takes a look at recently released economic indicators, addressing what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses the producer price index and unemployment insurance claims.
- Producer prices rose in February because of higher energy-related costs, but the overall trend has been the taming of inflation in the past year. From one year ago, prices that companies are paying for their products were 3.4 percent higher. It is still above the comfort zone, but it is nevertheless a slowdown from 6 percent most of last year.
- It is hoped that lower producer prices will translate into lower consumer prices. One component of consumer price that is not in producer price is rent. Rent increases have been picking up.
- In separate data news, the filing for unemployment checks by the first time unemployed is staying reasonably low. The number of people who are receiving unemployment benefits still remain elevated but the inflow of new people is slowing down. That suggests fewer companies are laying off employees and that there is a faster pace of job creation in the overall economy.
- If the weekly first-time unemployment claims stay at 351,000 as happened in the latest week, the corresponding net job creation will likely be 3 million for the year. But there are cautionary signs to suggest that the economy may hit a soft patch in the upcoming months. (See article on “Stock Market Recovery: Caution”, here)