The news that there was no rise in prices charged for finished goods in March came after two months of unexpectedly high increases. Chris Iggo, an analyst at Chase Manhattan in New York, said: ``This will make the Fed more confident that a soft landing for the economy will be achieved.''
There was a small increase of 0.1 per cent in "core" factory gate prices, excluding food and energy. Both of these categories saw price falls. Finished food product prices were down 0.2 per cent, despite floods in California. Car prices also declined, by an unexpected 0.4 per cent.
There was even better news on prices paid for materials - or ``crude'' goods. They fell 1.3 per cent last month, mostly due to lower food prices. This was the biggest one-month decline since September. Crude prices overall were 1.7 per cent lower than a year earlier.Reuse content