The latest, favorable government statistics continued to also re-affirm the slow, but steady comeback of the economy as a whole, according to the Labor Department. U.S. import prices declined for the second consecutive month, falling 0.6 percent in November thanks in large part to decreases in fuel prices. Conversely, U.S. export prices rose 0.1 percent last month following a 0.6 percent decline in October.
But the numbers make it clear that progress remains slow.
Other positive gains were apparent in the seasonally-adjusted prices of construction materials such as prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding. They fell 0.5 percent in November, but are up 1.1 percent year-over-year. Prices for non-residential construction materials fell 0.6 percent last month and are 0.7 percent lower than at the same time last year.
“November represented another month of remarkable stability for construction input prices,” says Anirban Basu, the chief economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). “Although many investors predicted significant inflation this year due to expansionary monetary policies in much of the developed world, there continues to be a lack of significant inflationary pressures both globally and nationally.”
Overall, the nation’s wholesale goods prices expanded 0.2 percent in November, but are down 0.9 percent year over year.
Basu says he expected more overall global economic growth in 2014 with the advent of more financial certainty.