As the economy slowly crawls its way back towards growth, inflation is well under control. However, healthcare inflation is rearing its head. Table 1 presents data from the February release of the Producer Price Index.
Over the last twelve months through January, producer prices increased by zilch, and actually decreased since last December. Prices of goods for final demand actually dropped 3.7 percent over the year. Pharmaceutical preparations, however, increased by 7.3 percent, and other healthcare goods also had higher inflation than other goods for final demand (which, I hate to state, also weakens the argument that the medical-device excise tax is having as negative an effect as the industry claims).