November industrial product price index (IPPI) increased 0.3 percent after rising 0.7 percent in October. The increase was supported by widespread gains across categories with 14 of 21 major categories rising as well as the depreciation of the Canadian dollar. On the year, the IPPI was up 1.4 percent after increasing 0.8 percent in October. Over the month, the Canadian dollar depreciated 1.4 percent against the U.S. dollar, helping boost November prices. Had the exchange rate remained constant, the industrial product price index would actually have edged down 0.1 percent.
Prices for motorized and recreational vehicles - representing more than 17 percent of the index - were 1.1 percent higher on the month, after rising 0.6 percent in October. Non-ferrous metal prices were up 2.3 percent. The gains were partially offset by a 2.2 percent drop in energy and petroleum prices. Meat, fish & dairy products prices also declined. Excluding energy and petroleum, the IPPI was up 0.6 percent on the month and 1.7 percent on the year.
The raw materials price index (RMPI) declined 2.0 percent on the month but was up 4.1 percent on the year. Excluding crude energy, the RMPI was actually up 1.7 percent and 2.3 percent on the year.
The Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI) reflects the prices that producers in Canada receive as the goods leave the plant gate. The IPPI excludes indirect taxes and all the costs that occur between the time a good leaves the plant and the time the final user takes possession of it, including the transportation, wholesale, and retail costs. The report also contains a measure of domestic producers' raw material costs (RMPI) which can be seen as a very loose leading indicator of the IPPI.
The IPPI reflects the prices that Canadian producers receive when goods leave the factory gate, that is, what producers receive for their output. This index is similar to the United Kingdom's producer output index. The index includes prices for major commodities sold by manufacturers, but it excludes indirect taxes and items such as transportation and wholesale and retail costs. The index is affected by the foreign exchange rate of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar, and each month its impact is noted. The RMPI reflects the prices paid by Canadian manufacturers for key raw materials, either domestically or in world markets. It is published simultaneously with the IPPI and, like that index, has a base year of 1997 and is subject to revisions for six months. This index is analogous to the producer input price index published in the United Kingdom.
The IPPI and RMPI measure prices at the producer level before they are passed along to consumers. Since these indexes measure prices of consumer goods and capital equipment, a portion of the inflation at the producer level gets passed through to the consumer price index (CPI). By tracking price pressures in the pipeline, investors can anticipate inflationary consequences in coming months.
While the CPI is the price index with the most impact in setting interest rates, the PPI provides significant information earlier in the production process. As a starting point, interest rates have an "inflation premium" and components for risk factors. A lender will want the money paid back from a loan to at least have the same purchasing power as when loaned. The interest rate at a minimum equals the inflation rate to maintain purchasing power and this generally is based on the CPI. Changes in inflation lead to changes in interest rates and, in turn, in equity prices.
The PPI is considered a precursor of both consumer price inflation and profits. If the prices paid to manufacturers increase, businesses are faced with either charging higher prices or they taking a cut in profits. The ability to pass along price increases depends on the strength and competitiveness of the marketplace.