WASHINGTON (5/15/15)--After a brief upturn in March, producer prices dropped in April for the seventh time in nine months, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The producer price index for final demand fell 0.4% in April, driven by a 0.7% drop in final demand for goods and a 0.9% step back in food prices, according to Moody’s (Economy.com May 14).
Further, energy prices slipped by 2.9%.
“Prices had risen in March, breaking a streak of four consecutive monthly declines,” said Sohini Chowdhury, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “But prices could not hold on to these gains and declined once again in April. The disappointing report shows that despite the increase in crude oil prices--they rose 25% in April--and a normalization of dollar strength from the March highs, inflationary pressures are still a long way off.”
Largely driven by falling oil prices, producer prices have fallen a record 1.3% over the last 12 months, MarketWatch reported.
While the price of gasoline at the pump increased in April, it typically climbs faster this time of year.
Excluding food and energy prices, meanwhile, the overall index fell more moderately, dropping 0.1% after a 0.2% increase the prior month.