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Manufacturing prices rise at record pace, influential Fed report shows

Thomas Catenacci, DCNF

The influential Empire State Manufacturing Survey conducted by the New York Federal Reserve Bank showed that manufacturing prices are rising at a record pace.

Both the future manufacturing prices paid and future prices received indices hit record highs, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey report released Monday. The respondents, which represent several different industries across the state, expect prices to continue to tick up.

“Data are pointing more towards higher inflation than I expected, and sooner,” former National Economic Council Director and Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said on Monday. “With more inflation signs sooner than I would have expected.”

“One should be more concerned about inflation than one was several months ago,” he added.

The prices paid index reached 83.5, an 8.8 point increase compared to April, while the prices received index hit 37.1, a 2.2 increase, according to the report. Since the Fed began taking the survey in 2002, both indices have only ever come close to their current levels once before – in 2008.

The report is the latest evidence that consumer prices are rapidly increasing, Axios reported. Consumer prices increased 4.2% in the U.S. between May 2020 and April, the highest level since September 2008, according to a Department of Labor report released on May 12.

In addition, business activity grew substantially while employment levels and general business conditions remained elevated, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed.

Every month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York sends the survey, which asks a series of business-related and economic questions, to about 200 of the same manufacturing executives representing varying industries in the state. The survey released Monday was conducted between May 3 and May 10.

The survey is regarded as a top indicator of national business trends, according to Axios.

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