More expensive gas pushed wholesale prices higher last month, although pricier cars and furniture also contributed to increase.In Obama own home town, everyone's giving more than a bit back since gas prices are now at their highest in nearly three years.
The Producer Price Index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, rose 0.7 percent in March, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's down from 1.6 percent in February. The index has increased 5.8 percent in the past year.
Excluding volatile food and energy costs, prices rose 0.3 percent — the second-highest increase in the past year. The price of new cars rose by the most in nearly two years, while the cost of some types of furniture jumped 6.5 percent. Still, core prices are only up 1.9 percent over the past year, a relatively tame rate of inflation.
Gas prices across Illinois and Indiana continued to climb in April from continuing unrest in the Middle East and the annual switchover to a more expensive summer blend of gasoline, according to AAA Chicago. It marked the first time the monthly average has been above $4 a gallon since July 2008.Of course Obama would just say "hey, why don't you just trade in your vehicle" for something more fuel-efficient. That would be all well and good except now the prices of fuel-efficient cars is rapidly rising.
Monthly average prices in Illinois and northern Indiana reached $4.02 and $3.90 respectively, AAA said this morning in its Fuel Gauge Report. In Illinois, regular unleaded gasoline has increased 39 cents during the past month and per-gallon prices are $1.02 higher than last year.
"Gas prices are definitely starting to ripple in the used car market right now," says Bill Visnic, analyst and senior editor at Edmunds' autoobserver.com. Visnic notes that in addition to the gas situation, the shortage of parts in Japan because of the earthquake and tsunami have added to pressure on car prices. In addition, the fact that the economy is improving is sending all used car prices higher, not just for small cars.The economy is improving? Really?
But smaller cars are taking the biggest hit. According to Edmunds' proprietary measure of car prices, a three-year-old Honda Accord has soared in value by 24% since last September. A similarly aged Hyundai Sonata is up 22%, the Honda Civic is up 13% and the Nissan Sentra has risen 12%.