WASHINGTON (8/15/13)--U.S. producer (wholesale) prices remained flat in July, indicating minimal inflationary pressure and reflecting the largest decline in auto costs in four years (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.com Aug. 14).
The producer-price index--which shows what companies pay for the full range of products from produce to heavy machinery--was unchanged last month after increasing 0.8% in June, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Core prices--which exclude volatile food and energy costs--climbed 0.1% in July after increasing 0.2% in June.
While slower growth abroad holds back demand, the lower prices of raw materials are reflected on cost pressures at the production stage for goods, Bloomberg said.
Although inflation will slowly gather steam, it will remain relatively low, Scott Brown, chief economist for Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Fla., told Bloomberg. There still is substantial slack in the economy, he noted.