The Consumer Price Index is used to calculate inflation, or the change in price of a basket of goods and services, as it impacts consumers; whereas, the Producer Price Index measures changes in selling prices, thereby expressing price changes from the perspective of the seller who produces a particular commodity.
A slide presentation updated with May 2017 data shows the Midwest inflation rate dropped slightly from April to May. While the urban metropolitan areas noticed a -0.71% decrease, the non-metropolitan urban areas saw a smaller decrease of -0.16%.
The Producer Price Index data shows that prices in the United States have increased from May 2016 to May 2017 for aircraft (0.7 percent), crude petroleum (7.0 percent), natural gas (61.1 percent), and slaughter livestock (1.4%). During that same time period, the index decreased sorghum (-6.6 percent) and wheat (-4.6 percent).
From March to April, the WSU Current Conditions Index increased by 0.1 percent. The Current Conditions Index increased year-to-year by 0.2 percent from April 2016 to April 2017. In addition, the Leading Index is forecasting a 0.39 percent increase in economic activity over the next six months.
The chemical manufacturing subsector includes companies whose operations are based on the transformation of organic and inorganic raw materials by a chemical process and the formulation of products. This subsector distinguishes the production of basic chemicals from the production of intermediate and end products produced by further processing of basic chemicals.
In Kansas, chemical product manufacturing is a high-wage industry with generally slow employment growth. There are seven establishments in the state with over 250 employees, while 40 percent of the establishments have between ten and 50 employees.
The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile.
The three Kansas metropolitan areas included in the index averaged 25.6 percent below the national average when weighted by population.
To subscribe to the Cost of Living Index report, or to learn more about The Council for Community and Economic Research, visit their website.
Industries in the fabricated metal product manufacturing subsector transform metal into intermediate or end products, other than machinery, computers and electronics, and metal furniture. The establishments in this subsector further fabricate the purchased metal shapes into a product.
In Kansas, fabricated metal product manufacturing is a low wage industry with moderate employment growth. More than half of the establishments in this industry have between 50 and 250 employees. Over the past decade employment in this industry has averaged just below 15,000 workers.
The unemployment rate for Kansas, as a whole, decreased from March 2017 to April 2017. The Wichita and Topeka MSAs noticed a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage points, while the Lawrence and Manhattan MSAs saw no change.
A slide presentation is available with additional employment and unemployment data for Kansas and its four metro areas.
Between the fourth quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2017, the general level of misery experienced by people in the United States and Kansas increased but remained below the 2016 level. This can be attributed to a small decrease in housing prices, increased inflation, and an increase in the unemployment rate.
Within each of the metropolitan areas in Kansas, the level of misery is mixed.
The Misery Index, as calculated by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR), includes the following components:
There was an average of 13,872 unemployed people in the Wichita metropolitan area in the first quarter of 2017, approximately 41 percent of whom collected unemployment insurance benefits. In the first quarter of 2017, there were approximately 5,692 people, age 16 and over, who collected unemployment insurance benefits. That is a decrease of approximately 16 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016.
In the first quarter of 2017, there were approximately 5,692 people, age 16 and over, who collected unemployment insurance benefits. That is a decrease of approximately 16 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016.
In both Kansas and the United States, both the employment-population ratio and labor force participation rate have declined sharply during the recession in 2008, and the ratio has remained well below pre-recession levels for both geographies.
The U.S. Census Bureau has published their population projections for the entire United States from 2015 to 2060 , and they project that the United States population will grow from 321.4 million to 416.8 million in that period. This represents 29.6 percent growth for the U.S. population, which is projected to expand more rapidly than the Kansas population.
Both the Kansas and the U.S. populations are projected to have positive growth rates throughout this period, with growth generally slowing over much of this period as well.