Key U.S. Inflation Measure Falls In May

Exactly reversing April's six-tenths percent gain, the Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods fell six-tenths of a percentage point in May, the U.S. Labor Department reported on June 14. The decline was far greater than the two-tenths percent drop that economists generally expected.

Lower prices for energy accounted for more than 75% of the month-to-month decline in the finished goods index, the department said. Prices for energy goods fell 3.5% in May, more than offsetting their 2.1% rise in April. Prices for food also fell in May, falling three-tenths percent after a one-tenth percent rise in April.

The so-called core PPI, which excludes price changes for food and fuel, increased one-tenth of a percentage point in May, just half the two-tenths increase economists generally expected.

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