15 July 2010 14:30 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--US wholesale prices for organic chemicals fell by 2.4% in June from May, the Labor Department said on Thursday, part of an overall decline in producer prices that edged down for the third consecutive month.
Wholesale prices, also known as producer prices, for plastic resins and materials rose marginally by 0.4% in June, the department said.
The June decline in producer prices for chemicals followed a slim 0.4% downturn in May and a 0.6% increase in April.
Prices at the wholesale level for plastic resins had seen a sharp 7.6% drop in May, largely offsetting the 11.4% jump recorded for April.
Overall, the department said producer prices for finished goods fell by 0.5% in June, following a 0.3% decline in May and the narrow 0.1% downturn in April.
Some economists might see the three-month fall in wholesale prices as worrying, perhaps a sign that demand is weakening and the ?xml:namespace>
The department’s closely watched producer price index (PPI) has not seen three straight months of declines in the previous 12 months.
However, the department noted that June’s 0.5% decline in the PPI was driven almost entirely by a 2.2% fall in wholesale prices for consumer foods and a 0.5% downturn in producer prices for energy products such as fuels.
Prices for finished goods other than foods and energy edged up by 0.1% in June, the department noted.
Economists pay closer attention to the so-called core index - wholesale prices for finished goods minus food and energy products - because those two categories often experience wide price swings from month to month.
But June’s 0.1% rise in the core index was essentially flat with May and comes amid other recent economic indicators that throw doubt on the strength of the recovery.
In addition, the top White House economist told Congress on Wednesday that the recovery is slowing and the nation’s economy still faces strong headwinds.
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