US wholesale prices for plastic resins jump 3.5% in October

16 November 2010 14:23  [Source: ICIS news]

Plastic resin prices jumpWASHINGTON (ICIS)--US producer prices for chemicals and plastic resins rose in October from September, the Department of Labor (DOL) said on Tuesday, with resins showing a sharp 3.5% advance after two successive months of declines.

The department said that producer prices - also known as wholesale prices - for basic organic chemicals rose by 1.7% in October and followed gains of 1.4% in September and 0.6% in August.

The percentage gains for both commodity categories reflect seasonally adjusted data.

Overall, the department’s monthly producer price index (PPI) report showed that prices at the wholesale level for all finished goods rose by 0.4% last month, also on a seasonally adjusted basis.

That gain followed 0.4% advances in both September and August.

Those successive monthly gains in the PPI ordinarily might cause concern among economists and policymakers that the recovering US economy might trigger a threatening jump in inflation at the consumer level.

However, the Labor Department report noted that all of the October gain in the producer price index was due to a 3.7% advance in finished energy goods - such as gasoline, diesel fuel and home heating oil, among others.

Energy products and wholesale food prices often produce sharp month-to-month swings.  Consequently, economists typically pay closer attention to the so-called core index of producer prices, meaning all other finished goods except foods and energy products.

With food and energy backed out of the overall total, the department said the core PPI fell by 0.6% in October from September.

It was the first decline in the core index in 11 months.

That fall-off in the core index of wholesale prices could calm Wall Street worries about potential inflationary risks.

($1 = €0.74)

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