Producer prices continue to fall

Trends in the government's Producer Price Index (PPI) continue to make a mockery of concerns about inflation. The PPI for finished goods declined 0.3% in March, and was 1.8% lower during March 1998 than in March 1997.

06/01/1998


Trends in the government's Producer Price Index (PPI) continue to make a mockery of concerns about inflation. The PPI for finished goods declined 0.3% in March, and was 1.8% lower during March 1998 than in March 1997. The PPI hasn't recorded an over-the-month gain since last September. Falling energy prices have played an important role in this period of overall producer price deflation. PRODUCER PRICE INDICES

Actual Annual change, %

Mar 98 1997 1998* 1999*

Intermediate goods 134 0.2 0.3 2.1

Finished goods 142.7 0.3 0.4 2

Mechanical power trans 156.9 2.2 1.2 --

Machinery and equipment 125.3 -0.5 0.4 0.7

Material handling equipment 130.7 1.8 1.7 --

* Forecasts by Cahners Economics; Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics





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