The second half of 2011 is in full swing, and a slew of economic reports scheduled to be released this week will help provide more insight on a key data point for manufacturers right now -- commodity prices.
"I think manufacturers continue to be worried about inflation," said Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers.
Moutray, though, is bullish about the manufacturing sector, based on recent economic data such as the Institute for Supply Management's June purchasing managers index, which rose 1.8% to 55.3.
On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will issue its Producer Price Index for June, giving manufacturers a snapshot of commodity prices at various stages of processing. On Friday, the BLS will issue its Consumer Price Index for June.
The agency's May Producer Price Index for intermediate materials, supplies and components moved up 0.9%, marking the 10th consecutive monthly increase. Moutray attributed the jump to rising raw-material prices.
"So that represents a challenge to the bottom line for a lot of manufacturers," Moutray said.
On Wednesday, the BLS will issue its U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for June.
On Friday, the Federal Reserve will issue its monthly index of industrial production, which measures real output for the manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities sectors.
Industrial production edged up 0.1% in May, the second consecutive month with little or no gain, according to the index.
Highlights for the Week of July 11-15
Wednesday, July 13
- U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for June, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (8:30 a.m.)
- Producer Price Index for June, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (8:30 a.m. EST)
- Initial jobless claims for week ending June 9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (8:30 a.m. EST)
- Consumer Price Index for June, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (8:30 a.m. EST)
- Industrial production and capacity utilization for June, Federal Reserve (9:15 a.m.)
- Industrial production for June, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (9:15 a.m.)
- Dell Inc. shareholders meeting