U.S. Wholesale Prices Drop 0.4%

Core rate jumps 0.4%

Amid sliding oil prices U.S. wholesale prices fell 0.4% in September, but core inflation -- excluding food and energy -- rose 0.4%, Labor Department data showed on Oct. 15.

The producer price index (PPI) showed its second consecutive monthly decline since the start of the year, after a 0.9% drop in August.

"On the surface, this report looks worrisome in that excluding energy, producer costs rose. But a look at the details indicates that we may have seen the last of the bad inflation numbers for a while," said Joel Naroff at Naroff Economic Advisors.

In September, the decline in wholesale energy prices slowed to 2.9% from 4.6% in August, after rising 3.1% in July, the Labor Department data showed.

Gasoline prices fell 0.5%, after a 3.5% drop in August, and most other energy products saw price declines.

Wholesale food prices climbed 0.2% in September, easing from a 0.3% rise in August.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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