By RICHIE MALOUF
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) — The price of producer goods and services spiked by 10.8% over the past year, driven in part by higher gas prices, according to new federal data.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Tuesday released producer price index data, which showed the PPI increased by 0.8% in May, up from a 0.4% increase in April and preceded by 1.6% in March.
The PPI report shows that almost half of the increase in prices for final demand goods in May results from an 8.4% increase in the index for gasoline, with the national average sitting at a record high $5.02 per gallon of regular gas.
In California Tuesday, the average price was $6.44 a gallon, according to the American Automobile Association. In Santa Barbara County, the average was a little less, $6.35 a gallon.
“In May, nearly two-thirds of the rise in the index for final demand was due to a 1.4% advance in prices for final demand goods. The index for final demand services increased 0.4%,” BLS said. “Over 70% of the increase in May can be traced to a 5% advance in prices for final demand energy.”
This data comes at the heels of the Consumer Price Index, which showed last week a 1% increase overall in May, part of the fastest rise in consumer prices in decades.
The food and energy index increased by 1.2% and 3.9%, respectively, in the month of May alone.
“While almost all major components increased over the month, the largest contributors were the indexes for shelter, airline fares, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles,” BLS said. “The indexes for medical care, household furnishings and operations, recreation, and apparel also increased in May.”
Republicans have criticized President Joe Biden for his handling of inflation and its effects on the economy.
“Joe Biden’s self-made inflation crisis is destroying the nation,” U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said. “He is failing hard-working Americans every single day. The worst part is he has no real plan to fix inflation.”
News-Press Managing Editor Dave Mason contributed to this report.