In March, wholesale prices jumped 0.5%, but the "core" rate of increase, which excludes food and energy, rose a more modest 0.1%, the government said April 18.
The rise in the headline producer price index (PPI) was above the expected increase of 0.4% and the steepest in a year. But the rise in the core rate, seen by many economists as a better indicator of inflationary pressures, was below the market forecast of a 0.1% increase.
The PPI is up 3.5% in the past year, the lowest year-over-year gain since September 2004. Core prices are up 1.7% in the past year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006