(CN) — Wholesale prices edged up a 0.2 percent in September, tamped down by lower food and energy costs, the Labor Department said Wednesday, but the increase was the first to occur in the past three months.
The government’s producer price index, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers rose 2.6 percent compared with a year earlier, the smallest increase since January.
Excluding the always volatile food and energy categories, core wholesale prices rose 0.2 percent in September and 2.5 percent from a year earlier.
Wholesale food costs fell 0.6 percent last month and gas prices dropped 3.5 percent, declines that could lower consumer prices in the coming months, the department said.
Transportation and warehousing prices rose 1.8 percent, the largest monthly gain in nearly nine years.
The increase was largely attributed wholesale prices for airline tickets, which jumped 5.5 percent — the highest level since 2009, and rail transportation of freight and mail was up 1.4 percent, the most since 2012.