Flat glass prices rose at their fastest annual rate since the late 1980s last year, driven higher by the rising costs to manufacturers of raw materials, labor, energy and transportation. During December 2000, average U.S. prices for laminated, sheet, plate and various tempered specialty glasses were 4.6 percent higher than during the final month of 1999; over the year, prices averaged 3.2 percent higher. This followed four consecutive years of falling price averages.
Despite the run-up in prices during 2000, inflation in this group was ebbing at year's end. And continued excess production capacity-and the current economic slowdown-should keep prices in check or rising moderately in 2001 and 2002.