Producer prices continue to fall
Trends in the government's Producer Price Index (PPI) continue to make a mockery of concerns about inflation. The PPI for finished goods declined 0.3% in March, and was 1.8% lower during March 1998 than in March 1997.
Trends in the government's Producer Price Index (PPI) continue to make a mockery of concerns about inflation. The PPI for finished goods declined 0.3% in March, and was 1.8% lower during March 1998 than in March 1997. The PPI hasn't recorded an over-the-month gain since last September. Falling energy prices have played an important role in this period of overall producer price deflation. PRODUCER PRICE INDICES
Actual Annual change, %
Mar 98 1997 1998* 1999*
Intermediate goods 134 0.2 0.3 2.1
Finished goods 142.7 0.3 0.4 2
Mechanical power trans 156.9 2.2 1.2 --
Machinery and equipment 125.3 -0.5 0.4 0.7
Material handling equipment 130.7 1.8 1.7 --
* Forecasts by Cahners Economics; Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.