1510s, "one who or that which produces;" agent noun from produce (v.). Of entertainments, from 1891; in political economy, "one who causes any article to have an exchangeable value" (opposed to consumer), by 1714 (John Locke).
early 15c., producen, "develop, proceed, extend, lengthen out," from Latin producere "lead or bring forth, draw out," figuratively "to promote, empower; stretch out, extend," from pro "before, forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, forth") + ducere "to bring, lead" (from PIE root *deuk- "to lead").
The sense of "bring into being or existence" is from late 15c. That of "put (a play) on stage" is from 1580s. Of animals or plants, "generate, bear, bring forth, give birth to," 1520s. The meaning "cause, effect, or bring about by mental or physical labor" is from 1630s. In political economy, "create value; bring goods, manufactures, etc. into a state in which they will command a price," by 1827. Related: Produced; producing.
early 15c., "one who squanders or wastes," agent noun from consume. In economics, "one who uses up goods or articles, one who destroys the exchangeable value of a commodity by using it" (opposite of producer), from 1745.
Consumer goods is attested from 1890. In U.S., consumer price index calculated since 1919, tracking "changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services" [Bureau of Labor Statistics]; abbreviation CPI is attested by 1971.