Despite predictions last week by market “groundhogs” that premiums should climb modestly this year, commercial property-casualty prices continued to fall last month, with MarketScout’s barometer showing a 6 percent average decline in January.

Indeed, while analysts queried for the Insurance Information Institute’s annual “Groundhog Forecast” (see accompanying story) combined to predict 3.8 percent premium growth for the industry in 2006, the p-c market shows no signs of hardening right now, although some lines and industries reported price increases, according to MarketScout, an online insurance marketplace.

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