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July 1996, Vol. 119, No. 7
William D. Thomas
Prices received by domestic producers of finished goods rose 2.3 percent in 1995, following a 1.7-percent increase in 1994 and a 0.2-percent rise in 1993. After increasing 1.1 percent in 1994, the index for finished consumer foods moved up 1.9 percent in 1995. Price increases for finished energy goods slowed to 1.1 percent in 1995 from 3.5 percent in 1994. The "core" index for finished goods-those other than foods and energy, which include consumer goods such as passenger cars and apparel, as well as capital equipment such as trucks and machine tools-advanced 2.6 percent in 1995 after rising 1.6 percent in 1994. (See table 1.)
At the earlier stages of processing, the results were mixed in 1995. The price index for intermediate goods increased 3.3 percent in 1995, following a 4.4-percent advance in 1994 and a 1.0 percent rise in the year before that. This index measures the movement in prices of goods such as flour, steel, lumber, industrial chemicals, diesel fuel, and paper boxes. The index for crude goods turned up 5.5 percent, after edging down slightly in 1994. Items in this index include wheat, scrap metals, logs, crude petroleum, and cotton. Prices for food-related materials at both the intermediate and crude stages of processing rose sharply in 1995, after falling in the previous year. Prices for crude energy goods turned up in 1995, after showing little change in 1994; price increases for intermediate energy goods, however, slowed to 1.1 percent in 1995 from 2.9 percent in 1994. When the more volatile food and energy components are excluded, price increases slowed from 1994 to 1995 at the intermediate level, while prices for the corresponding category for crude goods turned down following 2 years of double-digit increases.
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