US wholesale prices fall 0.2% in Oct, led by sharp fuel cost cuts

21 November 2013 14:38  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US wholesale prices fell by 0.2% in October from September, the Department of Labor (DOL) said on Thursday, led by a sharp 3.8% decline in producer prices for gasoline, among other lower energy costs.

In its monthly report, the department noted that October’s decline in wholesale prices - also known as producer prices - followed a 0.1% decline in September.

As tracked by the department’s producer price index (PPI), the two-month decline in wholesale prices followed four straight months of price increases, often in the 0.3% to 0.6% range.

Those May through August price hikes had raised concerns about possible inflation pressures at the consumer level, but those worries appear to have been quashed by the last two months of wholesale price declines.

The October 0.2% decline in producer prices was wholly attributed to an overall 1.5% decline in wholesale prices for energy products.

Within that energy category, the gasoline index fell by 3.8%.  But there were declines as well in wholesale prices for diesel fuel and natural gas.

The department said that the so-called core index for producer prices - in which volatile price changes for foods and energy products are backed out - rose by 0.2% in October.

The report also showed that producer prices for organic chemicals fell by 1% in October from September, and wholesale prices for plastic resins declined by 0.3%.

The drop in resins prices followed two straight months of gains.

The October decline in organic chemicals followed a more modest 0.3% drop in September, which had offset the 0.3% gain seen in August.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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