Inflation Indigestion: Jim Cramer Struggles to Find Silver Lining in Awful PPI Report

October 12th, 2022 1:42 PM

It seems that even CNBC host Jim Cramer can’t downplay the inflation crisis anymore. The network’s in-house apologist for the Federal Reserve had to face reality after an awful inflation report spelled major trouble for the U.S. economy.

CNBC Host Jim Cramer “It was just plain bad,” Cramer said on the Oct. 12 edition of CNBC’s Squawk Box, just minutes after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed in its Producer Price Index report that inflation for producers shot up by 8.5 percent year-over-year, beating Refinitiv economists’ expectations of an 8.3 percent increase. On a month-to-month basis, PPI “increased 0.4% for September, compared with the Dow Jones estimate for a 0.2% gain,” CNBC reported. Cramer was apparently despondent over the news: “There’s absolutely nothing to say about it other than it’s bad.” [Emphasis added]. 


“There’s no relief here,” Cramer concluded, and “it’d be stupid” to think otherwise. “There’s just nothing good here! It’s a shame. I thought there’d be something good here, but there wasn’t.” 

That’s quite a concession coming from the same guy who told his viewers Sept. 12 that the Fed “may be winning” the inflation battle. “Why do we presume that [inflation] has to go up, up and up … when it’s entirely possible that the only thing really left is wage and food?” Cramer asked at the time. He even fawned over Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, calling him “my man.”

Fast forward just 30 days later, and Cramer completely reversed his positive spin on the inflation crisis: “The only thing that’s actually even remotely positive about it is that there’s nothing in it that’s really shocking. To the upside, it’s kinda just as bad as it’s been.” 

But Cramer still attempted to eke out a silver lining angle to the atrocious inflation report, giving tepid praise to the “food and beverage” giants like PepsiCo and General Mills for escaping somewhat unscathed from the PPI report. But even that wasn’t good news for the rest of the economy: “There’s a bull market in that particular group but nowhere else.” 

Squawk Box co-anchor host Becky Quick attempted to reverse the bad news on inflation, asking Cramer if there were other bright spots in the economy where businesses “can pass on the pricing” to consumers. “Nobody,” Cramer shot back. “Nobody?” Quick asked again. “Nobody,” Cramer said. 

Cramer did not express high hopes about tomorrow’s consumer price index (CPI) report on inflation, either. “A lot of people were hoping that these numbers were gonna be good maybe except that tomorrow’s gonna be bad.” The stock market also seems to be reflecting anxiety about tomorrow’s inflation report, with CNBC reporting that both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite index fell on Wednesday “as investors shook off inflation data that came in higher than expected.” 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact ABC News at (818) 460-7477, CBS News at (212) 975-3247 and NBC News at (212) 664-6192 and demand they report on wholesale costs continuing to squeeze producers and consumers already struggling under President Joe Biden’s recession.