WASHINGTON – U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.2 percent in February, a sign that inflation is starting to blip higher for producers even if consumers haven’t yet feel its pinch.
A pickup in wholesale services prices offset a stop by the fee for food along with.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that this February boost in its producer price index was half January’s 0.4 percent gain. Producer prices, which show inflation before it reaches consumers, have risen 2.8 percent in the past year.
Energy prices fell 0.5 percent in February, and food prices fell 0.4 percent as fresh and dry vegetable prices plunged 27.1 %, most since May 2007. The wholesale expense of services rose 0.3 % in February, matching the January increase. Prices for wholesale services rose 2.8 percent over the last year, the most important annual get more records that date back to 2010. Transportation and warehousing prices rose 0.9 %, most since September. Excluding volatile food along with prices, so-called core wholesale inflation rose 0.2 percent for that third straight month.
“Inflation is starting to creep higher, led by services, what exactly you could possibly expect within a economy observed as a a drum-tight labor market,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities, wrote in the research note. Unemployment has hovered at 4.One percent for five straight months.
Prices have been rising faster for producers compared to consumers. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that consumer prices rose just 2.2 percent during the last year. Core consumer inflation posted a 12-month gain of just 1.8 percent.
The Federal Reserve hopes to see inflation at roughly a 2 percent annual pace. However the Fed’s preferred inflation measure has usually appear in below that target for the past six years.
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