Wholesale Prices Rise on High Energy Costs

(CN) — Wholesale prices rose 0.4 percent in November, driving the year-to-date increase to 3.1 percent — the biggest annual jump in nearly six years, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

The government said the increase in the producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, was largely caused by a spike in gasoline and other energy prices.

The last time the U.S. economy saw a 3.1 percent annual jump in whole prices was in Jan. 2012.

The November increase reflected a 4.6 percent increase in energy costs, the biggest since May 15. That increase was paced by a 15.8 percent surge in gasoline costs, the sharpest one-month gain in gasoline prices since an 18.6 percent jump in August 2009.

Costs of light trucks, pharmaceuticals, beef and residential electric power also moved higher.

Overall, food costs rose a modest 0.3 percent after a bigger 0.5 percent gain in October.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, rose 0.3 percent in November and 2.4 percent for the past 12 months.

The government will report on consumer prices on Wednesday. Like it’s measure of wholesale prices, the number is expected to reflect an increase due to higher energy costs.

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