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Producer prices for April rise 0.6 percent, doubling expectations

Producer prices for April rise 0.6 percent, doubling expectations
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The Producer Price Index (PPI), a measure of how much producers have to pay for their materials, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in April, roughly double the amount that economists had expected.

Compared to last April, when prices were unusually depressed due to the pandemic, the PPI rose 6.2 percent, a record in the index's 10 1/2 year run.

The surge is likely to add to fears that the economy is hitting an inflationary period, though top policymakers say the increases are likely to be temporary as the economy reawakens from the COVID-19 pandemic recession.

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A surge in demand, fueled by increased vaccinations and government stimulus, has left producers flat-footed, struggling to get supplies in order to meet market needs.

Supply chains, some of which run through countries still grappling with high daily COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations and deaths, have experienced considerable disruptions.

Consumer prices, another measure of inflation released last week, also saw an unexpected surge this week, reaching 4.8 percent year-over-year, its highest level since 2008. Economists had expected a 3.6 percent increase.

--Read more from The Hill:

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