Cheaper Energy Pushes Producer Prices Down 0.6% for March


The Producer Price Index for finished goods decreased by a seasonally adjusted 0.6% for March, according to a Labor Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.

After January's 0.2% bump and February's 0.7% increase, the Department's latest report reverses the index's upward trend.

Source: Labor Department.

Although the newest data missed analysts' expectations of a minimal 0.2% drop, gas prices were the main culprit behind March's decrease. For the index excluding food and energy, analysts' 0.2% estimated increase proved spot-on.

The drop in finished goods prices also affected earlier stages of the supply chain. The crude goods index dropped 2.5% for March, while intermediate goods felt a 0.9% squeeze. Excluding falling energy prices and rising food prices, crude materials and intermediate goods prices bumped up 0.9% and 0.2%, respectively.

This month's report puts finished goods prices just 1.1% higher than March 2012, the weakest year-over-year growth since July 2012.

The article Cheaper Energy Pushes Producer Prices Down 0.6% for March originally appeared on

You can follow Justin Loiseau on Twitter, @TMFJLo, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFJLo.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.