Producer Price Index Down 1.4%; Core Up 0.3%

The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods declined 1.4% in February, the U.S. Department of Labor reported March 21. This decrease followed a 0.3% gain in January and a 0.6% increase in December.

The Labor Department report showed a 4.7% decline in overall energy prices, which was the main factor in the sharp decline in prices.

The decline in the producer price index (PPI), the biggest in three years, was far steeper than the 0.2% forecast by Wall Street analysts.

However, the "core index," which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.3%, a bigger increase than the 0.1% rise expected

The Producer Price Index for Total Manufacturing Industries declined 0.4% in February, following a 0.9% rise in January. The industry group indexes for transportation equipment, food manufacturing, and medical equipment and supplies manufacturing also turned down in February, after moving up in the preceding month. The chemical manufacturing industry group index went up 1.1% in February, following a 0.8% gain a month earlier.

Prices received by the industry groups for primary metal manufacturing and paper manufacturing also advanced more than they had in January.

Copyright Agence France-Presse

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