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U.S. Wholesale Inflation Jumps 1.8%

Steepest increase since November

Amid soaring energy and food prices, wholesale inflation jumped a surprisingly strong 1.8% in June from May, the Labor Department said July 15. The increase in the department's seasonally adjusted producer price index, a gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, was the steepest since November and sharply exceeded market expectations of a 1.3% rise.

Core wholesale inflation, excluding volatile energy and food prices, was up 0.2%.

On a 12-month basis, PPI soared 9.2% in June.

Energy and food prices skyrocketed in June. Prices for finished energy goods advanced 6%, led by a 6.6% jump in residential natural gas prices following a 3.8% gain in the previous month. Finished energy goods had increased 4.9% in May.

By contrast, prices for unleaded regular gasoline advanced 9% in June following a 9.6% increase in the previous month.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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