12 April 2012 15:02 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US producer prices for basic organic chemicals rose by 4.4% in March from February, the Department of Labor (DOL) said on Thursday, while wholesale prices for plastic resins edged up by a more modest 0.5%.
Overall, the department said that prices at the producer level – also known as wholesale prices – were flat in March.
Such a decline in energy product prices offset increases in producer prices for light trucks and passenger vehicles.
The flat PPI for March followed three consecutive months of nominal gains – 0.1% each in November, December and January – and a larger 0.4% rise in February.
With energy and food products left out of the overall total, the department said its so-called core index for wholesale prices rose by 0.3% in March – the fifth consecutive monthly gain.
Economists typically focus on the core index because month-to-month price fluctuations in energy products and foods can be volatile.
In organic chemicals, the department said the 4.4% jump in producer prices followed a larger 6.4% rise in February, with successive increases offsetting the 4.4% decline reported for January.
Prior to the 0.5% gain in wholesale prices for plastic resins in March, that sector had seen a 0.3% rise in February and a stronger 3.6% increase in January.
While the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles monthly price changes in hundreds of commodities and products, it does not provide any analysis of those shifts.
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