10 August 2001, 16:36  US PPI-OVERVIEW

--US July producer prices -0.9%; core rate +0.2%
--US July intermediate producer prices -1.0%; core -0.4%
--US July crude producer prices -5.3%; core -0.9%
--US July producer prices ex-energy unchanged; energy prices -5.8%
--US July PPI gasoline prices -17.7%; biggest drop since July '86
--US July producer heating oil prices -9.1%; natural gas -4.0%
--US July food producer prices -0.6%; tobacco -0.1%
--US July light truck prices +2.3%, steepest rise since April 1987
--US July producer car prices -0.3%; civilian aircraft +0.8%
--US July producer capital equipment prices +0.2%, computers -0.3%

By Andrew Williams
Washington, Aug. 10 (BridgeNews) - Sharp declines in energy costs left U.S. producer prices down 0.9% in July, the sharpest drop since August 1993, the Labor Department announced Friday. Excluding food and energy, however, wholesale prices rose 0.2%, largely on an increase in truck prices. Wall Street analysts polled by BridgeNews were expecting producer prices to fall 0.3% and to gain just 0.1% excluding food and energy.
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Increases in capital equipment and consumer goods prices were behind the bigger-than-expected increase in the PPI core rate, according to Labor. Prices on light motor trucks rose 2.3%, the biggest increase since April 1987, while the cost of heavy trucks was up 1.0%. Civilian aircraft costs jumped 0.8%. Wholesale prices for radial tires, women's apparel and pharmaceuticals also posted gains. However, the steep decline in the overall producer price index stemmed from the biggest energy price drop in nearly 12 years as well as a decline in food costs. Energy price plummeted 5.8%. Specifically, gasoline prices fell 17.7%, heating oil prices fell 9.1%, and residential natural gas prices 4.0%.

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