Execs Foresee Steel & Energy Price Rises

By John S. McClenahen A majority of 60 senior financial executives surveyed by the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI during June expect prices for steel, natural gas, oil and gasoline, chemicals, and shipping to continue to rise during the second half of 2004. In contrast, most respondents expect prices for aluminum, coal, copper and rubber to stay about the same or fall somewhat. The executives believe that slower economic growth in China will contribute most to lower commodity prices later this year. Second most important will be rising production of commodities, the manufacturing executives say. Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI is an Arlington, Va.-based business and public policy research group.

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