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Phantom Economics



Note: The following article was published Friday in the Buzz & Banter.

As reported by Bloomberg, the Bureau of Labor Statistics in releasing the very late PPI numbers now tells us what the problem was:

"The BLS said the January 2004 PPI contained erroneous January index levels for four commodity index series: all commodities, farm products, and processed foods and feeds, industrial commodities, and all commodities except farm products.

To rectify the problem, BLS officials removed the offending data series from the database, and information on them will not be available in the PPI Detailed Report in the near future.

The bureau rectified (camouflaged) the problem (inflation in commodity prices) by excluding the erroneous (offending) data in the PPI and will do so going forward?

I don't know about you, but I am uncomfortable with a government agency subjectively determining that commodity data is "erroneous" for the PPI and even more uncomfortable with the fact that they decide to exclude it.

If we are confused, please someone point it out. This can't be true.

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