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.
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.
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.