The seasonally adjusted Producer Price Index for finished goods fell 0.2% in December, according to a Labor Department report [link opens in PDF] released today. After a significant rise in prices over the summer, this newest report signifies the third straight month of price decreases. Market analysts had expected a 0.1% drop.
Excluding price changes for food and energy, December's finished goods index managed a 0.1% increase.
Long-term trends paint a rosier picture, with finished goods increasing 1.3% in price since December 2011. Minus food and energy, the increase reaches 2%.
Earlier up the supply chain, price changes have more directly benefited crude and intermediate goods. The crude goods index increased 2.5% in December, while intermediate goods bumped up 0.3%. Jumps in energy materials and goods were the main drivers behind these price increases.