U.S. Economic Indicators

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand declined 1.3% in April – the largest decline since the series began in December 2009 – and is down 1.2% year-over-year. The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — fell 0.9% in April and is down 0.3% from a year ago. BLS Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated that the economic recovery is likely to take much longer than initially expected and more federal spending will be needed to ensure that the initial policy response is not wasted. While Powell did not address the future direction of monetary policy, he did emphasize the need to recognize that the current downturn is not a typical recession and that more fiscal stimulus, while costly, may be necessary to avoid long-term economic damage. WSJ

According to the New York Times, the pandemic-induced plunge in auto sales has the potential to permanently change the industry as auto manufacturers consider dramatic changes – including plant closures, mergers, and supply chain shifts – to ensure their survival. The pandemic could also have indirect effects on demand for different types of vehicles, with electric car sales proving more resilient so far. NYT