The Producer Price Index (PPI) is a monthly survey that measures the price changes of goods bought and sold by UK manufacturers and provides a key measure of inflation, alongside other indicators such as the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Services Producer Prices Index (SPPI). This statistical bulletin contains a comprehensive selection of data on input and output index series. It contains producer price indices of materials and fuels purchased and output of manufacturing industry by broad sector.
The output price indices measure change in the prices of goods produced by UK manufacturers (these are often called 'factory gate prices').
The input price indices measure change in the prices of materials and fuels bought by UK manufacturers for processing. These are not limited to just those materials used in the final product, but also include what is required by the company in its normal day to day running.
Imported Price Indices (IPIs) are a series of economic indicators that measure change in the prices of goods and raw materials imported into the UK. IPIs are a key component of input price indices.
Exported Price Indices (EPIs) are a series of economic indicators that measure change in the prices of goods manufactured in the UK but destined for export markets.
The factory gate price (the output price) is the price of goods sold by UK manufacturers, and is the actual cost of manufacturing goods before any additional charges are added, which would give a profit. It includes costs such as labour, raw materials and energy, as well as costs such as interest on loans, site/building maintenance or rent.
Core factory gate inflation excludes price movements from food, beverages, petroleum and tobacco & alcohol products, which tend to have volatile price movements. It should give a better indication of the underlying output inflation rates.
The input price is the cost of goods bought by UK manufacturers for the use in manufacturing, such as the actual cost of materials and fuels bought for processing.
Core input inflation strips out purchases from the more volatile food, beverage, tobacco and petroleum industries to give an indication of the underlying input inflation pressures facing the UK manufacturing sector.
Factory gate inflation stands at 0.5%, the lowest annual rate since October 2009, when prices were falling by 0.1%. Output inflation has slowed steadily from autumn 2011, falling from an annual rate of 5.3% in September 2011 to 1.3% in July 2012. Output inflation remained steady at around 1.5% before dropping again to 1.0% in April 2013. The annual percentage change increased slightly during the summer of 2013, but has generally been reducing since July 2013. Core factory gate inflation, stripping out the more volatile food, beverages, tobacco and petroleum products, showed a similar pattern, running at a lower rate and showing a smaller degree of volatility. However, since November 2013 core output price inflation has been running at a slightly higher rate (Figure A).
In the Budget on 19 March 2014, changes to the duty rates for alcohol and tobacco products were announced. These changes were introduced on 19 March for tobacco products and on 24 March for alcohol products and the resulting price changes are reflected in this statistical bulletin.
Looking at the latest estimates (Table A), movements in factory gate prices over the 12 months to March were as follows:
Factory gate prices rose 0.5%, compared with a rise of 0.6% last month.
Core factory gate prices rose 1.0%, compared with a rise of 1.1% last month.
Factory gate inflation excluding excise duty stood at 0.6%, unchanged from last month.
Between February and March:
Factory gate prices rose 0.2%, compared with a rise of 0.1% between January and February.
Core factory gate prices rose 0.1%, compared with a rise of 0.2% last month.
|All manufactured products||Excluding food, beverages, tobacco & petroleum||All manufactured products excluding duty|
|1 month||12 months||1 month||12 months||1 month||12 months|
Table B shows the annual percentage change in price across all product groups and Figure B shows their contribution to the annual factory gate inflation rate. Table C and Figure C show the same information but for the monthly factory gate inflation rate.
|Product group||Percentage change|
|Tobacco & alcohol||3.4|
|Clothing, textiles & leather||2.3|
|Paper & printing||1.3|
|Chemicals & pharmaceuticals||-1.8|
|Metal, machinery & equipment||0.5|
|Computer, electrical & optical||1.0|
|Other manufactured products||1.7|
|Product group||Percentage change|
|Tobacco & alcohol||2.0|
|Clothing, textiles & leather||0.0|
|Paper & printing||-0.1|
|Chemicals & pharmaceuticals||0.0|
|Metal, machinery & equipment||0.0|
|Computer, electrical & optical||0.0|
|Other manufactured products||0.4|
Factory gate prices rose 0.5% in the year to March, compared with a rise of 0.6% in the year to February. The figure for March means that annual inflation now stands at its lowest rate since October 2009, when prices were falling by 0.1%. The main positive contribution to the annual rate came from tobacco & alcohol products, and clothing, textiles & leather products. These increases were largely offset by a decrease in the price of petroleum products.
The price index rose 0.2% between February and March, compared with a rise of 0.1% between January and February. The main upward movement in the month was in tobacco & alcohol products, which was partially offset by a fall of the price of petroleum products (Table C).
Petroleum product prices fell 7.1% in the year to March, compared with a fall of 7.2% in the year to February. The annual falls seen in february and March are the largest since September 2009, when prices fell by 12.5%. The index fell 0.4% between February and March, compared with a fall of 0.3% between January and February. The decrease this month was caused mainly by the fall in the prices of diesel and gas oil.
Alcohol & tobacco product prices rose 3.4% in the year to March, up from a rise of 1.8% in the year to February. The index rose 2.0% between February and March, up from a rise of 0.2% between January and February. Tobacco prices rose 9.1% in the year to March, compared with a rise of 6.1% in the year to February. Between February and March the index rose 4.4%, compared with no movement between January and February. This increase in tobacco prices was caused by a rise in the rate of duty, which rose 2% above the rate of inflation (based on RPI) on 19 March 2014. Alcohol prices rose 0.2% in the year to March, compared with a fall of 0.4% in the year to February. Between February and March the index rose 0.5%, compared with a rise of 0.3% between January and February. As a result of the Budget, changes to alcohol duty were introduced on 24 March. The rate of duty reduced by 6% for low strength beer, the rate of standard beer duty reduced by 2% and there was a 0.75% reduction in the rate of duty on high strength beer. The rate of duty on wine and sparkling cider increased by the rate of inflation (based on RPI) with duty frozen on other alcoholic products.
Clothing, textiles & leather product prices rose 2.3% in the year to March, unchanged since last month. The main contributor to this increase was wearing apparel, which rose 2.8% in the year to March, also unchanged from last month. The clothing, textiles & leather index saw no movement between February and March, compared with a rise of 0.2% between January and February.
Core factory gate prices, which exclude the more volatile food, beverages, tobacco and petroleum product prices, giving a measure of the underlying factory gate inflation, rose 1.0% in the year to March. Between February and March, core factory gate inflation rose 0.1%.
Since autumn 2011 price inflation of materials and fuels purchased by the UK manufacturing industry (input prices) fell quite rapidly from an annual inflation of around 16% to deflation (prices lower than they were in the same month of the previous year) of around 2% in the middle of 2012 (Figure D). Input price inflation showed a steady but fairly slow increase from July 2012 to July 2013, when it reached 4.7%. Since July, the rate of inflation has been decreasing with prices currently falling by 6.5%. Over this period core input inflation (purchases by manufacturing industries other than the more volatile food, beverages, tobacco and petroleum industries) fell at similar levels.
Looking at the latest data (Table D), the key movements in the year to March were as follows:
The total input price index fell 6.5%, compared with a fall of 5.8% in the year to February.
The core input price index saw a fall of 5.8%, compared with a fall of 5.2% in the year to February.
The price of imported materials as a whole (including crude oil) fell 7.1%, unchanged from last month. (Table 7 Input prices: detailed by commodity (not seasonally adjusted) - SIC 2007). (243 Kb Excel sheet)
Between February and March:
|Materials & fuels purchased||Excluding food, beverages, tobacco & petroleum industries|
|1 month||12 months||1 month||12 month||1 month|
NSA: Not Seasonally Adjusted
Table E and Figure E show the percentage change in the price of the main commodities groups over the year and their contributions to the total input index. Table F and Figure F show the same for the monthly input prices.
|Product group||Percentage change|
|Fuel incl. CCL||-3.2|
|Home food materials||-7.3|
|Imported food materials||1.2|
|Other home-prod. materials||5.4|
|Imported parts & equipment||-6.1|
|Other imported materials||-4.7|
|Product group||Percentage change|
|Fuel incl. CCL||-1.8|
|Home food materials||-0.5|
|Imported food materials||-0.3|
|Other home-prod. materials||-0.3|
|Imported parts & equipment||0.2|
|Other imported materials||0.1|
The overall input index for all manufacturing, that is the price of materials and fuels purchased by manufacturers, fell 6.5% in the year to March, compared with a fall of 5.8% in the year to February. These figures show that input prices are falling at their highest annual rate since September 2009, when prices fell by 8.9%. This decrease was caused mainly by a reduction in the price of crude oil, (down 11.1% in the year to March), imported metals (down 13.6% in the year to March), home produced food (down 7.3% in the year to March) and imported parts & equipment (down 6.1% in the year to March).
The input index fell 0.6% between February and March, compared with a fall of 0.5% between January and February. This was caused mainly by a fall in the price of crude oil and fuel prices (see Table F and Figure F).
The index for crude oil fell 11.1% in the year to March, compared with a fall of 11.3% in the year to February. The index fell 2.1% between February and March, down from a fall of 0.3% between January and February (Tables E and F). The fall in crude oil prices in March is thought to be a result of falling Chinese demand and an increase in output from Iraq.
The index for imported metals fell 13.6% in the year to March, up from a fall of 15.4% in the year to February. The index rose 1.8% between February and March, compared with no movement between January and February.
The index for fuel prices fell 3.2% in the year to March, compared with a rise of 3.2% in the year to February. The index for fuel prices fell 1.8% between February and March, unchanged from last month. The falls in annual and monthly inflation rates are a result of falling gas prices. Gas prices normally fall in Spring as the weather gets warmer, but have fallen earlier than usual in 2014 due to a relatively mild February and March causing a reduction in demand.
Home produced food prices fell by 7.3% in the year to March, down from a fall of 5.4% last month. This is the biggest annual fall since June 2009 when prices fell by 12.4%.
Imported parts & equipment fell 6.1% in the year to March, compared with a fall of 6.7% last month. The main contribution to this annual rate came from fabricated metal products, which showed a fall of 20.3% in the year to March.
The core input price index, in seasonally adjusted terms, fell 0.5% between February and March. The unadjusted index fell 0.1% between February and March, and fell 5.8% in the year to March.
For this bulletin reference tables 8R and 9R (243 Kb Excel sheet) highlight revisions to movements in price indices previously published in last month’s statistical bulletin. The revisions usually presented in these tables are generally caused by changes to the most recent estimates, as more price quotes are received, and revisions to seasonal adjustment factors which are re-estimated every month. The headline figures have small revisions. These revisions were mainly caused by late data. For more information about the ONS revisions policy see the ONS website.
|Revisions between first publication and estimates twelve months later|
|Value in last period||Average over the last 5 years||Average over the last 5 years without regard to sign (average absolute revision)|
|Total output: 12 months||0.5||-0.15||0.22|
|Total output: 1 month||0.2||0.01||0.09|
|Total input: 12 months||-6.5||0.28||0.57|
|Total input: 1 month||-0.6||0.12||0.38|
Revisions to data provide one indication of the reliability of key indicators. The above table shows summary information on the size and direction of the revisions which have been made to the data covering a five year period. A statistical test has been applied to the average revision to find out if it is statistically significantly different from zero. An asterisk (*) shows that the test is significant.
The table presents a summary of the differences between the first estimates published between December 2007 and February 2013 and the estimates published 12 months later. These numbers include the effect of the reclassification onto SIC 2007.
Spreadsheets giving revisions triangles of estimates for all months from January 1998 through to March 2014 and the calculations behind the averages in the table are available in the reference table area of the ONS website;
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We are constantly aiming to improve this release and its associated commentary. We would welcome any feedback you might have, and would be particularly interested in knowing how you make use of these data to inform your work. Please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article about rebasing the PPI and SPPI onto 2010=100
As previously announced, ONS has taken forward the rebasing of the PPI onto a 2010=100 basis. The first published data using 2010=100 was released in November 2013. An article describing the results of this assessment was also published on 12 November 2013. If you have any questions or queries regarding the impact of rebasing on PPI data, please contact PPI operations.
From March 2013, ONS stopped producing the PPI records within the statistical bulletin. These data are now available separately on the ONS website (102.5 Kb Excel sheet) .
Quality and Methodology Information
A Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) (95.6 Kb Pdf) paper for the PPI describes in detail the intended uses of the statistics presented in this publication, their general quality and the methods used to produce them.
The UK is required to compile and deliver the PPI to Eurostat under the Short-Term Statistics Regulation. As a result, all EU countries must produce equivalent series on a comparable basis. Eurostat produce European aggregates for PPI and publish a monthly press release available here. This release uses the gross sector PPI as the headline figure where in the UK, we publish the top level PPI on a net sector basis. Detailed PPI figures for the UK and the rest of the EU are also published on Eurostat's website here.
Producer Price Index and Services Producer Prices: implementation of SIC 2007
Producer Prices has implemented the change to the Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC 2007). The most significant change to PPI output prices involves the reclassification of ‘recovered secondary raw materials’ and ‘publishing’. These are no longer classified in the manufacturing sector, but are classified under services. In addition to this, a new SIC division, ‘repair, installation and maintenance of machinery and equipment’ has been created. Under SIC 2003 these activities were classified within the output of manufacturing, but as part of the specific industries where this activity took place.
Fundamental changes have been made to the classification of the PPI Trade surveys, Import Price indices (IPI) and Export Price Indices (EPI). As part of the reclassification project the classification of these trade surveys have become compliant with Eurostat’s Short Term Statistics Regulation. The collection of IPI and EPI will now be on an SIC basis, a switch from the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) and Combined Nomenclature (CN) previously used. PPI input prices are heavily dependent on IPI.
For further information on the changes and impact of the SIC 2007 on prices please see the Economic and Labour Market Review for December 2010 (84.1 Kb Pdf) .
Any comments about this work and its impact on PPI please contact Producer Price Index Operations on +44 (0)1633 45 6628 or email PPI operations.
Relevance to users
Index numbers shown in the main text of this bulletin are on a net sector basis. The index for any sector relates only to transactions between that sector and other sectors, sales and purchases within sectors are excluded. However, the more detailed figures shown in reference tables 4 and 6 (243 Kb Excel sheet) are on a gross basis; that is, intra industry sales and purchases are included in each of these indices.
Indices relate to average prices for a month. The full effect of a price change occurring part way through any month will only be reflected in the following month’s index.
All index numbers exclude VAT. Excise duty (on cigarettes, manufactured tobacco, alcoholic liquor and petroleum products) are included, except where labelled otherwise. Since PPIs exclude VAT, they are not affected by the increase in the standard rate of VAT to 20% from 4 January 2011.
The detailed input indices of prices of materials and fuels purchased by industry (reference table 6) (243 Kb Excel sheet) do not include the climate change levy (CCL). This is because each industry can, in practice, pay its own rate for the various forms of energy, depending on the various negotiated discounts and exemptions that apply.
Common pitfalls in interpreting series
Expectations of accuracy and reliability in sample surveys are often too high. Revisions and sampling variability are inevitable consequences of the trade off between timeliness, accuracy and the burden on respondents. Details of sampling variability are included elsewhere in this bulletin.
Very few statistical revisions arise as a result of ‘errors’ in the popular sense of the word. All estimates, by definition, are subject to statistical ‘error’ but, in this context, the word refers to the uncertainty in any process or calculation that uses sampling, estimation or modelling. Most revisions reflect either the adoption of new statistical techniques or the incorporation of new information which allows the statistical error of previous estimates to be reduced. Only rarely are there avoidable ‘errors’ such as human or system failures, and such mistakes are made quite clear when they are discovered and corrected.
Definitions and explanations
Definitions found within the main statistical bulletin are listed here:
A measure of the average level of prices, quantities or other measured characteristics, relative to their level for a defined reference period of location. It is expressed as a percentage above or below, but relative to, the base index of 100.
Seasonal adjustment aids interpretation by removing effects associated with the time of the year or the arrangement of the calendar, which could obscure movements of interest. Seasonal adjustment removes regular variation from a time series. Regular variation includes effects due to month lengths, different activity near particular events, such as bank holidays and leap years.
All characteristics that determine the price of the products - including quantity of units sold, transport provided, rebates, service conditions, guarantee conditions and destination - are taken into account.
The appropriate price is the basic price, which excludes VAT and similar deductible taxes directly linked to turnover, as well as all duties and taxes on the goods and services invoiced by the unit, whereas any subsidies on products received by the producer are added.
Transport costs are included but only as part of the product specification.
An actual transaction price and not a list price is given to show the true development of price movements.
The output price index takes into account the quality changes in products.
The price collected in period t refers to orders booked during period t (time of the order), not when the commodities leave the factory gates.
For output prices on the non-domestic market, the price is calculated at national frontiers, FOB (free on board). This means that the seller pays for transportation of the goods to the port of shipment, plus loading costs, and the buyer pays freight, insurance, unloading costs and transportation from the port of destination to the factory.
Figures for the latest two months are provisional and the latest five months are subject to revisions in light of (a) late and revised respondent data and (b), for the seasonally adjusted series; revisions to seasonal adjustment factors are re-estimated every month. A routine seasonal adjustment review is normally conducted in the autumn each year.
The complete run of data in the tables of this bulletin are also available to view and download in other electronic formats free of charge using the Office for National Statistics Datasets and Reference Table service (if you want the data associated with this bulletin click into Download data in this release option). Users can download the complete release in a choice of zipped formats or view and download their own selections of individual series.
Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office. A list of the names of those given pre-publication access to the contents of this bulletin is available on the Producer Price Index: Pre-Release Access List.
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|Kat Pegler||+44 (0)1633 456468||Business Prices, ONSemail@example.com|