The finished-goods producer price index (PPI) compiled by the U.S. Labor Department rose three-tenths of a percentage point in January, half of its six-tenths percent advance in December 2005. A major factor: Prices for energy goods were unchanged in January. They had risen 2% in December.
Although one month does not make a trend, January's core PPI, the overall index minus price changes for food and fuel, bears some attention. It rose four-tenths of a percentage point, the largest increase since a six-tenths percent rise in January 2005.