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Biggest drop in consumer durables prices since 1930s

April 15, 2003

Durable commodities prices paid by consumers decreased 3.3 percent in 2002, the largest calendar-year decrease since 1938.

Annual change in the Consumer Price Index for durables and nondurables, 1998-2002
[Chart data—TXT]

Durables include items such as vehicles, furniture and bedding, and computers. New vehicle prices decreased 2.0 percent last year, the largest calendar-year decline since 1971. Used car and truck prices fell 5.5 percent.

Furniture and bedding prices were down 1.1 percent in 2002. Prices for personal computers and peripheral equipment dropped by 22.1 percent.

The nondurables index rose 3.1 percent last year, following a 1.4-percent decrease in 2001. The aggregate commodities index was up 1.2 percent in 2002, after declining 1.4 percent in the previous year.

These data are from the BLS Consumer Price Index program. Annual percent changes are December-to-December changes. For additional information on consumer price changes in 2002, see "Consumer prices up slightly more in 2002, led by energy and hospital services," by Todd Wilson, Monthly Labor Review, March 2003.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Biggest drop in consumer durables prices since 1930s on the Internet at (visited September 20, 2014).


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