rjs's blog

Record Oil and Gasoline Inventory; Gas Use Down...& a Russian-OPEC Cartel?

A number of on again, off again, stories that Russia was planning to meet with the members of the OPEC cartel to negotiate production cuts drove oil prices higher last week, but even now it's still not clear if there was any actual communication between any leaders of the countries to bring about such a meeting

January Producer Prices Fell 0.8% on Widespread Lower Prices, Margins

Probably the most interesting economic report of those released last week was the January report on the Producer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which showed the headline producer price index for final demand had fallen by a seasonally adjusted 0.8% for the month, after falling 0.2% in both November and December, and which left year over year wholesale inflation unchanged.  Both the monthly decrease and the year over year change were the greatest drop that this new PPI index has ever shown in the two years

Gauging the Impact of December Inventories on 4th Quarter GDP Revisions

Two more reports from last week that we want to look at were on December sales and inventories for different sectors of the economy.  We want to know how they might affect 4th quarter GDP revisions.  Here's a simplistic way to think about how sales and inventories in the economy affect GDP: If the economy consumes 10 apples at a dollar a piece in November, and 11 apples at 90 cents each in December, sales have gone down by 1% in December but monthly GDP is up 10%.  If there are 10 apples left on the shelf in both months, reported inventories will go down 10% in December, but