Producer Prices Rose in August as Energy Costs Jump

(CN) — Higher energy costs pushed wholesale prices to rise in August at the fastest pace in four months, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The latest producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, rose 0.2 percent last month, the department said.

It was the largest monthly increase since a 0.5 percent gain in April. Much of the increase in August came from a 3.3 percent surge in energy costs.

Food expenses slipped in August, including a sharp 20.6 percent decline in wheat prices.

The survey was taken before Harvey and Irma struck the southern part of the United States, events that will likely cause prices to further rise in the coming months as the rebuilding process begins.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.1 percent last month. Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices are up a moderate 2.4 percent while core prices have risen 2.0 percent.

Prices for iron, steel and industrial chemicals all rose in August.

On the other hand, the wholesale price of wheat declined by a sharp 20.6 percent, the biggest decline since April 2008.


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