The PPI Is Not Just Another Boring Acronym

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

I know, I know. PCP is sexier, PPOs you had to learn, and PBR — well, that's just vital. But I swear, the Producer Price Index is something that you ought to be paying attention to — it's the number which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer (er... your wallet). Bad news — that number is the highest it's been in twenty-seven years. Adam Davidson, our intrepid Econonaut, is going to explain this particular economic term — and why manufacturers are having such a hard time balancing between passing costs on, and absorbing them. If you're in a business that's having that particular struggle — let us know — or, what have you noticed a price bump in (besides of course, oil)?

The Econonaut is out for the next two weeks — but we want to spend that time collecting the questions that you have about the economy. What don't you understand? Post 'em here.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Personally, I'm looking forward to inflation. I have $825,000 in mortgage debt. The less the dollar is worth, the less I owe in real terms.

Sent by Mark H. | 2:45 PM | 8-19-2008

Monetary inflation comes about because TOO MUCH money is in circulation--that is, the FED prints way too much money. It's that simple.

Sent by gabriel | 4:50 PM | 8-19-2008

This just another Bush admin disaster. Every now and then they send Skippy out to say some inane thing that pretends someone has a solution, but it's not quite ready yet.

Sent by Randall Day | 4:19 PM | 8-20-2008

I really don't know how to approach this as I don't want to sound as if I'm picking nits.

At just after 5:00 minutes into the 'Econonaut' segment, Neal Conan made a comment along the lines of "... the misery index, as President Reagan would say...". It didn't sound right to me as my recollection was that President Carter made repeated references to the misery index in his 1976 campaign. And as far as I can tell, my recollection is correct.

I'd be glad to know that Reagan made frequent reference to the index.

I'm sorry to say that hearing a seasoned news professional make such an apparently inaccurate statement is a bit irritating.

Irritating in the same way as hearing Han Solo refer to a parsec as a measurement of time.

Sent by Chuck Lima | 3:10 PM | 8-21-2008