Wholesale prices in the U.S. edged up 0.1% in October as a fall in energy prices offset the rising cost of food, government data showed Nov. 14. The modest rise in the producer price index (PPI), a measure of inflation at the wholesale level, was tamer than Wall Street expectations of a 0.3% gain.It marked a cooldown from the 1.1% rise in September, after a sharp decline of 1.4 % in August.
The core rate, excluding the volatile components of food and energy, was flat, after rising by just 0.1% in September, the Labor Department said. The core rate, closely watched by economists, could ease Federal Reserve concerns about inflationary pressures.
Overall wholesale energy prices fell by 0.8% in October, after a 4.1% jump in September. The decline was broad-based and included a 3.1% drop in gasoline prices from a steep 8.4% increase in September.
Food prices rose by 1% in October, cooling from a 1.5% gain in the prior month.
On a 12-month basis, the PPI rose 6.1% from October 2006 and the core prices increased 2.5%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007