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The Pee Pee Eye

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Sniff sniff...is it Sushi Wednesday?

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Ya gotta love a proactive Minyan who takes matters into their own hands. The following exchange was forwarded to me by one of ye faithful as they dug for information regarding the phantom PPI report that has gone AWOL. Please know that the views reflected by both the reader and the economist do not necessarily reflect those of the critters. Minyan Steve started the exchange by sending an email that stated "Give us the data please. What are you afraid of? This is shameful!" The following thread followed:


Minyan Steve,

The delay in the release of January 2004 data is due to complications in the conversion of industry data from an SIC classification system to a NAICS classification system.

The BLS is attempting to work through the complications as quickly as possible in order to produce accurate data. We apologize for the inconveniences caused by the delay. For updates on the release, please visit our website at www.bls.gov/ppi. The newly-scheduled release will be announced there at least a day ahead of time.

Marta Norton
Economist
Producer Price Index
(202)691-7705
-----------------------------------------------------

Marta,

Thanks for the reply. I have been to the website. Why don't you release the old version until you get it figured out? Many of us suspect that the numbers are so high that the gov't does not want them released as the markets will surely react to the inflation. It is unbelievable that they won't release the numbers using the old calculation method until you get the revisions more palatable.

Regards,

Minyan Steve

-------------------------------------------------------


Minyan Steve,

BLS determined some time ago that the NAICS and SIC systems would not be published in parallel. The added cost and complexity of managing dual systems was not deemed acceptable. The BLS is not suppressing January 2004 data due to possible implications for the economy; not only would that be unethical, it would also be impossible, seeing as the complications have impeded the actual calculation process.


Marta Norton
Economist
Producer Price Index
(202)691-7705



The jury is still out on this one, I'm afraid, although it is a tad serendipitous that these "calculations" are occurring exactly when commodity prices are rippin' through the roof. Closet economists have long suspected the BLS of "massaging" Mr. Beeks--a Barron's columnist noted recently that the real unemployment rate is closer to 10%--but this takes the discussion to an entirely new level. I'm not pointing fingers--at least not publicly--but the mission of Minyanville is to provoke thought and teach ye faithful to fish better.

It's up to you whether to take the bait.



R.P.
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