February 29, 2024

Nudged by Gas Prices, Wholesale Inflation Rises

Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in June compared with May, when prices rose 0.5 percent, the Labor Department reported on Friday. It was the biggest gain since a 1 percent increase in September and was driven by a 7.2 percent surge in gasoline prices.

Outside of the volatile energy and food sectors, core inflation was up just 0.2 percent in June.

Core prices have risen 1.7 percent over the last 12 months. Aside from sharp swings in gas prices, inflation has increased very slowly over the last year, giving the Federal Reserve the room to keep interest rates low to lift the economy.

The government’s Producer Price Index measures inflation before it reaches the consumer. Consumer prices have been rising at a modest rate as well. Over the 12 months ending in May, consumer prices outside of food and energy were up just 1.7 percent, below the Fed’s 2 percent target for inflation.

For June, energy prices at the wholesale level were up 2.9 percent, reflecting the big increase in gas prices. It was the biggest increase since February.

Food costs rose 0.2 percent in June, a moderation after a larger 0.6 percent May increase in food that had been driven in part by a surge in the price of eggs. For June, egg prices retreated, falling 26.8 percent, the biggest one-month drop in seven years.

The wholesale price of passenger cars rose 0.8 percent in June, the biggest increase since November 2011, but most other categories showed moderation. Furniture prices were up 0.3 percent.

Total wholesale prices were up 2.5 percent in June compared with a year ago.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/business/economy/nudged-by-gas-prices-wholesale-inflation-rose-in-june.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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