Wholesale inflation climbed 0.8% in February, slightly lower than expectations


Another surge in energy prices pushed wholesale goods prices to their biggest one-month jump in record in February, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday.

Final demand prices for goods jumped 2.4% for the month, the largest move ever in data going back to December 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

That pushed the headline producer price index up 0.8% on the month, which actually was slightly lower than the 0.9% Dow Jones estimate.

Excluding food, energy and trade services, so-called core PPI rose just 0.2%, well below the 0.6% expectation.

On a year-over-year basis, headline PPI rose 10%.

The data came during the week of Feb. 13, prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Energy prices surged even more as the war began, and will show up in next month’s report.

The numbers come with most other inflation gauges running around 40-year highs, thanks to price increases that have spread beyond volatile gas and grocery prices and across a broad spectrum of consumer goods and services.

However, gasoline was still the main story in February when it came to final demand prices.

Some 40% of the increase in wholesale goods prices came from gasoline, which rose 14.8%. Diesel fuel and electric power also helped feed an 8.2% increase in final-demand energy prices, while motor vehicles and equipment and dairy prices also rose. Various prices for food products, such as fresh and dry vegetables along with beef and veal also showed declines.

The PPI is not as closely watched as the consumer price index, but wholesale costs feed into prices at the register and are seen as a harbinger of inflation.

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Fonte Notícia