The stock market took a hit this morning, as the Producer Price Index turned back to deflation, dropping 0.2 percent in December and 0.1 percent in 201. Health prices are still growing faster than other prices. This is especially true for pharmaceuticals, for which prices increased 8.2 percent last year, versus a 3.7 percent decline in prices for final demand goods. Although political attacks on pharmaceutical prices are misguided, it is likely they will continue as long as this situation persists.
With respect to services, health price inflation is not as extreme. However, the jump of 1.3 percent for physician prices in December is remarkable.
Read the entire entry at NCPA's Health Policy Blog.