U.S. Producer Prices Rise 1.1% on Energy, Food
10/12/2012| 08:46am US/Eastern
Sep Producer Price Index ! Consensus: !
! Overall: +0.8% !
Key Numbers: Sep Aug ! Core: +0.2% !
PPI Index: +1.1% +1.7% ! Actual: !
Core Index: Unch +0.2% ! Overall: +1.1% !
Intermediate: +1.5% +1.1% ! Core: Unch !
By Sarah Portlock and Jeffrey Sparshott
WASHINGTON--U.S. wholesale prices rose for the second consecutive month in September led by energy and food costs, a possible indication of renewed inflation pressures.
The producer price index, which measures how much manufacturers and wholesalers pay for finished goods, increased a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in September from a month earlier, the Labor Department said Friday. The gain was largely due to energy prices that jumped 4.7% during the month, following a 6.4% rise in August.
Food costs rose a more mild 0.2% last month, boosted by prices for dairy products and fresh fruit and melons.
So-called core prices, which strip out volatile energy and food components, were unchanged from August.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast overall producer prices to rise 0.8% and core prices to grow by 0.2%.
The annual rate of inflation at the producer level was up 2.1% last month, the biggest rise since March.
A 9.8% increase in gasoline prices accounted for much of the energy cost increase, the Labor Department said. Prices for diesel fuel and residential natural gas also boosted energy costs.
Oil prices were high in August and September but have since come down.
In a report Thursday, import prices for petroleum jumped 4.6% in September from August, but were down slightly on the year, the Labor Department said.
At the producer level, passenger car prices dropped 0.2% in September, the same as the prior month.
Prices for intermediate goods--which are semifinished goods like lumber or flour that require further processing--grew 1.5% last month, the biggest change since February 2011.
Prices of raw materials, known as crude goods, increased 2.8% in September but were down from a nearly 6% rise the previous month.
The Labor Department's producer price index report can be accessed at: http://www.bls.gov/ppi.
Write to Sarah Portlock at email@example.com and Jeffrey Sparshott at firstname.lastname@example.org.