US Producer Prices Dip in October

The producer price index fell 0.2% from September, led by a drop in energy prices of 0.5%. Food prices rose 0.4%.

U.S. producer prices fell in October after four straight months of increases, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The producer price index fell 0.2% from September, led by a drop in energy prices of 0.5%. Food prices rose 0.4%.

Most analysts had expected PPI to rise 0.1%.

Excluding food and energy products, prices dropped for the first time since November 2010, by 0.2%.

The pullback in producer prices came after sharp rises in September and August that averaged 1.4%.

"Input prices will struggle to advance while uncertainty about U.S. fiscal policy and global economic growth persists," said Arijit Dutta at Moody's Analytics.

Superstorm Sandy, which battered the eastern United States in late October, had virtually no impact on the preparation of the PPI reading, the department said.

"Crude-oil prices peaked in September and have fallen steadily in recent weeks as supply disruptions have proved temporary and the result of concerns that demand is slowing," Dutta said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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