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Producer prices fell slightly in December

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Casey Harper

(The Center Square) – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ released its latest Producer Price Index data Wednesday which showed prices dropped 0.5 percent in December after rising 0.4 percent in October and 0.2 percent in November.

In December, final demand goods dropped 1.6 percent.

“Nearly half of the December decrease in the index for final demand goods can be traced to a 13.4-percent decline in prices for gasoline,” BLS said. “The indexes for diesel fuel; jet fuel; fresh and dry vegetables; canned, cooked, smoked, or prepared poultry; and basic organic chemicals also fell. In contrast, prices for carbon steel scrap increased 8.3 percent. The indexes for chicken eggs and for electric power also moved higher.”

Services, though, saw a 0.1 percent increase.

“A major factor in the December increase in prices for final demand services was a 17.6-percent jump in margins for fuels and lubricants retailing,” BLS said. “The indexes for deposit services (partial), airline passenger services, inpatient care, and professional and commercial equipment wholesaling also moved higher. In contrast, prices for truck transportation of freight decreased 1.7 percent. The indexes for residential real estate loans (partial), machinery and vehicle wholesaling, and guestroom rental also fell.”

December’s price decrease comes as welcome relief as prices have risen significantly in recent years.

“On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand increased 6.2 percent in 2022 after rising 10.0 percent in 2021,” BLS said.