15 October 2008 14:57 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--US producer prices for chemicals and plastic resins fell 4.8% and 3.1% respectively in September as part of a more modest 0.4% decline in overall wholesale prices, the Labor Department said on Wednesday.
The nearly 5% decline in producer prices for chemicals was a sharp departure from gains of more than 6% in both August and July.
The 3.1% drop in wholesale prices for plastic resins followed a nearly 3% gain in August and the 7.6% jump in resin prices in July.
The Labor Department reports movement in producer prices for a wide range of commodities and intermediate goods but does not offer any analysis on the possible causes for wholesale pricing shifts.
Overall, the department said that its closely watched producer price index (PPI) slid 0.4% in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a 0.9% drop in August and a 1.2% climb in July.
Much of the decline in the PPI was due to a 2.9% fall in wholesale prices for energy goods, the department said. However, the decline in fuel prices was less than the 4.6% drop seen in August.
Prices for goods at the wholesale level minus fuel and food rose by 0.4% following a 0.2% increase in August, the department noted.
Data on producer prices for fuel and food products are often set aside from the broader PPI categories because those products’ prices are subject to sharp monthly shifts that can distort the overall picture for wholesale prices.
The 0.4% rise in September and the earlier month increase of 0.2% for wholesale prices other than food and fuel are likely to raise renewed concerns about inflation and whether those fears might chill prospects for further interest rate reductions by the Federal Reserve, the ?xml:namespace>
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