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Economy in Brief

The producer price index for finished goods edged up 0.1% in July, in line with Consensus expectations. The index had increased by 0.5% in June.

Prices for finished goods excluding food and energy unexpectedly fell 0.3% in July after rising 0.2% the previous month. Consensus estimates had been a 0.1% gain. Prices of light trucks dropped 3.1% compared with an increase of 0.4% in June. Prices in July were also lower for passenger cars (-0.8%) and civilian aircraft (-0.1%).

The finished energy goods index rose 1.3% (+16.2% y/y) in July after a 0.7% rise in June. Residential electric power prices advanced 1.8% after a 2.8% drop in June. Residential natural gas also rose (+0.9%) compared with a 3.7% decline in June. Gasoline prices moderated somewhat in July (+0.7%) after huge increases in March through June. The gasoline price index in July was 33.7% higher than a year ago.

The lack of inflationary pressure in finished goods was not shown in the intermediate and crude goods indexes. Intermediate goods prices rose 0.5% in July after a 0.7% increase in June. Excluding food and energy, the intermediate goods index was 0.7% higher compared with an 0.8% advance the prior month. Intermediate energy prices were down last month (-0.1%) led by diesel fuel which declined by 5.0% after rising 5.4% in June. The indexes for jet fuel, residential fuel and home heating oil were all lower in July as well. Industrial and commercial natural gas prices rose, as did liquefied petroleum gas prices.

Materials prices for nondurable manufacturing increased 0.2% last month after a 1.0% advance in June. The index for materials for durable goods manufacturing climbed 2.3% in July compared with a 1.1% gain the previous month. Prices for materials for construction moved up 0.7% after a 0.3% rise in June.

The PPI for crude materials soared 3.1% in July after declining 1.7% in June. Crude energy materials prices rose 4.8% led by natural gas (+1.2%) and crude petroleum (+9.4%). Crude energy prices had dropped by 6.8% in June. Prices of crude materials less food and energy increased 1.3% following a rise of 1.7% in June.

Producer Price Index July June Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Finished Goods 0.1%  0.5% 4.1%   4.9%  3.6%  3.2%
  Core -0.3% 0.2%  1.3% 2.4% 1.5% 0.2%
Intermediate Goods 0.5% 0.7% 8.8%  8.0% 6.6% 4.7%
  Core 0.7% 0.8% 7.9%  5.5% 5.7% 2.0%
Crude Goods 3.1%  -1.7%  6.7% 14.6%  17.5% 25.1%
  Core 1.3% 1.7%  34.6% 4.8%  26.5% 12.4%
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