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July 1997, Vol. 120, No. 7
William D. Thomas
P rices received by domestic producers of finished goods increased 2.8 percent in 1996, following a 2.3-percent rise in 1995 and a 1.7-percent advance in 1994. The index for finished energy goods went up 11.7 percent from December 1995 to December 1996, after an increase of 1.1 percent a year earlier. Prices for foods, such as fresh fruits and melons, pork, and bakery products, rose 3.4 percent in 1996, following a 1.9-percent increase in 1995. However, price increases for finished goods other than foods and energy, which include consumer goods such as passenger cars and apparel, slowed to 0.6 percent in 1996 from 2.6 percent in 1995. (See table 1.)
Price changes were mixed in 1996 at the earlier stages of processing. The index for intermediate goods moved up 0.7 percent in 1996, after showing a 3.3-percent rise in 1995. This index measures the price movements of goods such as flour, steel, lumber, industrial chemicals, diesel fuel, and paper boxes. Price increases for crude goods accelerated to 14.7 percent in 1996 from 5.5 percent in 1995. Crude goods include such products as wheat, scrap metals, logs, crude petroleum, and cotton. Price increases for food-related materials at the intermediate stage of processing slowed from 1995 to 1996; at the crude level, the index for foodstuffs and feedstuffs turned down in 1996 after rising sharply in 1995.
This excerpt is from an article published in the July 1997 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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