PPI - The U.S. economy just cannot stop breaking records, both good…and bad. Yesterday, the BLS dropped the December PPI report showing the lowest monthly increase since November 2020, but, the highest annual increase ever since this data began being recorded back in 2010.
2021 closed the year with a 9.7% increase in producer price levels, with December seeing a jump of just 0.2%. Surprisingly, this record-breaking price jump was actually below expectations, as experts had predicted a year over year rise of 9.8%. Sure it's a small miss, but it's still another reason to throw shade at economists.
Still this is at least one positive, that prices - at the wholesale level, at least - could be starting to see a downtrend. This could be a result of easing supply chain struggles seen in the last few weeks of 2021 before Omicron got its big break. But now as we know, Omicron looks to be taking its toll on global supply chains as well, particularly in China as flareups in cases just weeks before the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics have been met with factory shut downs and other production slowdowns.
Stocks had a bit of a mixed reaction to the data. Investors seemed unsure at the market open if the slowest monthly increase in 14 months or the fastest annual increase ever should take precedent. Either way, I'm just glad I'm not the only one who's confused.
Party Animal - This is exactly why the 13 Colonies ditched those losers across the pond almost 250 years ago. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson finds himself in the hot seat again recently after reports emerged that the PM attended an "outdoor garden gathering" back in May of 2020. Sounds like a rager to me.
You remember May 2020, right? Yeah, it wasn't a good time, especially considering that in the U.K. citizens were only allowed to meet with one other person at a time outdoors while standing 2 meters (basically 6.5ft) apart. Meanwhile, a Senior official for Johnson was busy organizing a BYOB garden party for the PM's staffers that sought to break every rule in the book. Boris now claims that he, allegedly, only showed up for about a half hour to thank staff, considering the event more work and less play.
Now, Brits are pissed. Calls for resignation ring from 10 Downing Street to the Shelby Parlour. But good ol' BJ has a knack for getting out of sticky situations, and with the U.K. parliament holding the largest conservative majority since Thatcher, he could escape unscathed yet again.