June 17, 1999
Consumers paid less for durable commodities in 1998 compared to the previous year. Prices for consumer durables as a whole fell by 0.5 percent from December 1997 to December 1998.
The fall in prices for consumer durables in 1998 was the second consecutive drop—they had declined by 1.5 percent in the prior year. The 1997 decline was the first for consumer durables since 1965.
Examples of consumer durables are furniture, televisions, new vehicles, and motor vehicle parts. Television prices decreased by 4.8 percent last year and prices of motor vehicle parts fell 0.2 percent. Not all durables shared in the 1998 price drop: Prices of new vehicles were unchanged and furniture prices were up by 1.4 percent.
These data are produced by the BLS Consumer Price Index program. More information on consumer price changes can be found in "Consumer inflation remains modest in 1998," Monthly Labor Review, April 1999. Annual percent changes are December-to-December changes.