Week in Review: Feb. 14-18
Zack here, filling in for Anirban, who’s getting a much-needed break from his weekly reviewing duties. The biggest economic news this week is geopolitical in nature. All three major stock indices plummeted this week on fears of Russia making a not-so-minor incursion into Ukraine.
Now, onto the week that was in economic data…
The National Retail Federation estimates that 2022 Valentine’s Day spending will reach about $24 billion. For reference, $24 billion can get you about 5 SoFi Stadiums (where Super Bowl LVI was played), 1.5% of current student loan debt (a lot of it held by SoFi), or 63% of a Jeff Bezos divorce settlement. Romantic, right?
The IRi Supply Index ™
The IRi Supply Index™ shows that 87% of edible products and 91% of nonedible products were in stock for the week ending 2/13/22. Regionally, the South Central, Plains, and Great Lakes regions have the lowest percentage of food in stock, though there’s not too much regional variation. At the product level, supply levels are lowest for the vices, with just 79% of tobacco products in stock and 86% of alcoholic beverages. After the past two years, that makes a lot of sense.
Producer Price Index (PPI)
PPI measures the average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers, and the reading for final demand goods jumped 1% higher in January. Since January 2021, the reading is up 9.7%. A big story of the pandemic is surging demand for goods in both absolute terms and relative to demand for services. Predictably, January PPI data show goods prices up 1.3% for the month and services prices up 0.7%. If you haven’t heard, we’re experiencing a bit of inflation.