JOFC PRICE INDEX TUMBLES AGAIN

JOFC PRICE INDEX TUMBLES AGAIN

The Journal of Commerce Industrial Price Index fell to a 1995 low of 111.14 on Monday, reflecting lower commodity prices.

Weakness in petroleum products set the tone for further declines in the index. Benzene, a petroleum derivate tracked by the index, fell 5 cents, to 68 cents a gallon. Also down were rawhide prices, which fell 1 cent a pound on Monday, to 81 cents, another sign of weakness for the JofC index. Hides are used in the manufacture of leather goods popular with consumers in the fall and winter seasons.On Friday, the index set a low of 111.45 from weakness in textiles and metals.

The index's annualized inflation rate indicator fell to minus 3.96 percent on Monday from 3.42 percent on Friday and was the lowest rate in nearly two years. On Dec. 15, 1993, the inflation rate, smoothed for erratic movements in spot prices, decreased to 4.38 percent.