21 July 2005 | Anusha Bradley
Raw material prices rose at the fastest rate in 20 years in June.
Official figures from National Statistics show a seasonally adjusted monthly rise of 2.1 per cent in input prices.
In the year to June, they rose by 12.1 per cent - the biggest increase since 1985.
Analysts credit the monthly increase to higher costs of crude oil - up by 13.1 per cent - and home-produced foods. These were slightly offset by lower prices for imported chemicals, parts and equipment.
But June's purchasing managers index (PMI) report from CIPS and NTC Research indicated a more gradual monthly rise in input prices.
At 50.5, the input price index was barely above 50 figure that indicates no change on the previous month.
However, NTC Research said the PMI report did not take into account the recent spike in oil prices because it covers a shorter survey period.
National Statistics said output prices - the cost of manufactured products at the factory gate - were, on average, 2.4 per cent higher in June than in May.
For more on the PMIs, visit www.supplymanagement.com/pmi