JOFC INDEX MAINTAINED COURSE IN HOLIDAY-SHORTENED WEEK

JOFC INDEX MAINTAINED COURSE IN HOLIDAY-SHORTENED WEEK

The Journal of Commerce Industrial Price Index held steady at 94.1, unchanged for the abbreviated holiday week compared with the previous five-day period.

The inflation indicator, hovering around 94 of its 1980 base of 100 in recent weeks, reflected weak prices for most nonferrous and plywood prices - both heavily weighted commodities.Still, the index remains above its 1993 low of 93.5 set on Oct. 4, 1993, and well below the 100.6 it reached Feb. 24.

Many economists remain firm in their assessment of little or no inflationary expectations for the U.S. economy in the near term, although interest rates have risen modestly. Higher interest rates could make borrowing for basic materials more expensive and trigger increases in the rate of inflation, generally now in a low range of 2.5 percent to 3 percent.

Scrap copper prices edged up a fraction of a cent, to 57.50 cents a pound as most dealers saw market activity slow before the Thanksgiving Day holiday.