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Commentary: Inflation No Surprise for Distributors

February 25, 2005

Strong sales are good, inflation is bad. It doesn't take a long memory to recall how the deep recession felt in U.S. markets a few years ago, and how it was largely ignored by the mainstream press and economists for the better part of a year. Let's hope the same doesn't happen on inflation trends this year.

Wall Street may have been surprised when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its producer price index numbers for January about a week ago, but it was no surprise for distributors. Core finished goods, which excludes the volatile areas of foods and energy, rose 0.8% in January, the sharpest increase since December 1998.

The MDM Inflation Index (next page), which tracks monthly price movement across 10 commodity product areas, rose 1.03% from December to ...

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