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U.S. Wholesale Prices Drop Sharply

Producer-price index for finished goods declined 0.6%

Snapping a four-month increase, on the back of slipping prices of energy-linked goods, U.S. producer prices declined sharply in February, data showed on March 17.

The producer-price index for finished goods declined 0.6%, following a 1.4% advance in January and a 0.4% increase in December as well as rises in the previous two months, the Labor Department said.

Much of the decline in February prices was attributed to a 2.9% drop in prices for energy goods.

Producer prices are still 4.4% higher than last year.

Excluding food and energy, core prices for finished goods were marginally higher at 0.1%, compared with a 0.3% increase in January.

Also the Federal Reserve maintained interest rates at near zero percent on the back of a troubled labor market, tame inflation and the fragile recovery.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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