August 19, 1999
Prices received by domestic producers of finished goods showed no change last year, after falling 1.2 percent in 1997.
A decline in the energy index restrained the growth of producer prices in 1998. Energy prices were down by 11.7 percent, while food prices were barely changed, with a rise of 0.1 percent. For items other than food and energy, prices increased by 2.5 percent in 1998.
The Producer Price Index for finished goods last rose in 1996, when it was up by 2.8 percent. This gain reflected an 11.7-percent increase in energy prices and a 3.4-percent rise in food prices. Prices of goods other than food and energy advanced by just 0.6 percent in 1996. The rise in prices of finished goods in 1996 was the biggest gain in the past eight years.
Data on prices received by producers come from the BLS Producer Price Index program. More information is available in the BLS publication "PPI Detailed Report: Data for 1998." Annual percent changes are December-to-December changes. Note that this edition of The Editor’s Desk updates an article that appeared here earlier this year: "Producer prices edged down 0.1 percent in 1998" (01/14/1999). The Producer Price Index has been revised since the prior article appeared in January.