Another big drop in consumer durables prices

May 26, 2004

Durable commodities prices paid by consumers decreased 4.3 percent in 2003, the largest calendar-year decrease since 1938. This followed a decline of 3.3 percent in 2002.

Annual change in the Consumer Price Index for durables and nondurables, 1997-2003
[Chart data—TXT]

Durables include items such as vehicles, furniture and bedding, and computers. New vehicle prices decreased 1.8 percent last year.

Furniture and bedding prices were down 1.6 percent in 2003. Prices for personal computers and peripheral equipment dropped by 17.8 percent.

The nondurables index rose 2.4 percent last year, following a 3.1-percent increase in 2002. The aggregate commodities index was up 0.5 percent in 2003, after rising 1.2 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 2003, see "Consumer prices during 2003," by Todd Wilson, Monthly Labor Review, April 2004.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Another big drop in consumer durables prices on the Internet at (visited September 24, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.