Given the release of the producer price index late last week, it’s time for our monthly review of which industries have greater or less pricing power than normal. All charts are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and display the year/year change in producer prices.
Inorganic chemical pricing is strong. In conjunction with falling oil prices this could signal improving margins for chemical manufacturers.
Sawmill pricing is weaker than normal and in a declining trend. This is probably a side effect of the housing slowdown.
Pricing for paint and coatings remains strong, which is somewhat puzzling given the weak housing and auto markets. Either more people are fixing up their old cars/houses instead of buying new ones, or the pricing power of paint is likely to peel.
Iron and steel mills have got their mojo back.
As does aluminum.
The lower oil prices haven’t hurt pricing power for new oil and gas machinery.
As bad as things seem right now, it doesn’t get much better for computer manufacturers.
And wireline telecom pricing power is the best it has been in years.
Tune in next month for more exciting behind-the-scenes reporting on the PPI.
Editor's note: ETFs covering the Basic Materials sector include iShares Dow Jones U.S. Basic Materials Index (NYSEARCA:IYM), Vanguard Materials ETF (NYSEARCA:VAW) and Materials Select Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLB).