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CPI-to-PPI Ratio and the Stock Market

August 23, 2023 • Posted in Economic Indicators

In response to “PPI and the Stock Market”, a subscriber hypothesized that increases and decreases in the ratio of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to the Producer Price Index (PPI) are bullish and bearish for the stock market, respectively. The reasoning for the hypothesis is that CPI reflects aggregate corporate revenue, while PPI reflects aggregate costs. The ratio CPI/PPI therefore relates to aggregate profitability, which should translate to stock market level. To test this hypothesis, we construct U.S. CPI/PPI monthly from non-seasonally adjusted CPI and non-seasonally adjusted¬†PPI. We then relate changes in this ratio to S&P 500 Index returns. Using CPI and PPI values and S&P 500 Index levels as available during December 1927 through July 2023, we find that: (more…)

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