With prices for finished goods other than food and energy declining three-tenths of a percentage point last month, the U.S. Labor Department's Producer Price Index (PPI) for Finished Goods rose just a tenth of a percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was the smallest increase in five months and well below the three-tenths percent increase that economists generally expected.
In July, the so-called core PPI, which does not include price changes for food and fuel, fell three-tenths of a percentage point, its first decline this year.
July's small increase in the overall PPI followed a half-percent increase in June and a two-tenths rise in May. The only month-to-month decline for finished goods in the first seven months of this year occurred in February, when the price index fell 1.2%.
At earlier stages of processing, prices increased more than at the finished-goods level in July. Prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods gained half a percentage point last month, and prices for crude materials rose 3.1%, the Labor Department reported on August 15.