The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods rose 0.2% in May, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. This increase followed a 0.9% jump in April and a 0.5% advance in March. At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods climbed 1.1% in May after rising 0.9% in the preceding month, while the crude goods index moved up 2.0% following a 1.2% gain in April.
Most of the deceleration in the finished goods index can be traced to prices for energy goods, which slowed to a 0.4% increase in May after advancing 4% in April. Prices for finished consumer foods turned down 0.5 % following a 0.1% gain in the prior month. Alternatively, the index for finished goods other than foods and energy increased 0.3% in May compared with a 0.1% rise in April.
Before seasonal adjustment, the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods advanced 0.4% in May to 161.2 (1982 = 100). From May 2005 to May 2006, prices for finished goods increased 4.5%. Over the same period, the index for finished energy goods climbed 20.6%, prices for finished goods other than foods and energy rose 1.5%, and the index for finished consumer foods fell 1.5%. For the 12 months ended May 2006, prices for intermediate goods increased 8.9% and the crude goods index moved up 8.6%.
Finished goods The index for finished energy goods rose 0.4% in May after advancing 4.0% in April. Gasoline prices climbed 2.2% in May following a 12.3% jump a month earlier. The indexes for home heating oil, liquefied petroleum gas, residential electric power, diesel fuel, finished lubricants, and kerosene also increased at slower rates than they had in the preceding month. Prices for residential natural gas fell more than in April.
The Producer Price Index for Intermediate Materials, Supplies, and Components advanced 1.1% in May following a 0.9% gain in the preceding month. Prices for materials for durable manufacturing, materials for nondurable manufacturing, and materials and components for construction rose more than they had in April. The index for intermediate foods and feeds decreased less in May than in the prior month, while prices for containers turned up after declining a month earlier. By contrast, the intermediate energy goods index increased at a slower rate in May than it had in the previous month. Prices for intermediate materials less foods and energy rose 1.1% compared with a 0.4% gain in April.
The index for materials for durable manufacturing moved up 4.4% in May after rising 1.6% in the prior month. Hot rolled steel sheet and strip prices jumped 7.9% following no change in April. The indexes for copper and brass mill shapes and for aluminum mill shapes increased more in May than they had in the preceding month. Prices for semifinished steel mill products, secondary aluminum, softwood lumber, and for hot rolled steel bars, plates, and structural shapes turned up after falling a month earlier. Alternatively, the cold rolled steel sheet and strip index climbed 1.2% in May following a 4.3% advance in the prior month. Prices for primary aluminum (except extrusion billet) also rose less than they had in April, and the index for titanium mill shapes turned down in May.
Prices for materials for nondurable manufacturing increased 1.4% in May following a 0.1% rise in the preceding month. The paperboard index moved up 5.3 % after rising 0.3% in the prior month. Prices for primary basic organic chemicals also increased more than they had in April. The index for plastic resins and materials fell less than it had a month earlier. Prices for inedible fats and