U.S. producer prices
posted their largest increase in 1-1/2 years in April as the cost of food and
trade services surged, hinting at some inflation pressures at the factory gate.
Labor Department said on Wednesday its seasonally adjusted producer price index
for final demand rose 0.6 percent, the biggest gain since September 2012.
Producer prices increased 0.5 percent in March.
polled by Reuters had forecast prices received by the nation's farms, factories
and refineries rising 0.2 percent. In the 12 months through April, producer
prices advanced 2.1 percent, the biggest gain since March 2012, after rising
1.4 percent in March.
prices have been volatile in recent months, driven by swings in the trade
services category. The PPI series was revamped at the start of the year to
include services and construction.
history and volatility makes it a bit difficult to discern a trend. While price
pressures are creeping up at the factory gate, the overall inflation backdrop
remains benign given the slack left over from the recession.
food prices surged 2.7 percent, the biggest rise since February 2011. That
followed a 1.1 percent increase in March and marked the fourth consecutive
month of gains in food prices.
A drought in
California is putting upward pressure on food prices, leaving Americans
confronting higher prices at the supermarket.
were pushed up by a surge in the cost of meats, which recorded their largest
rise since October 2003.
Energy prices rose 0.1 percent last
month. Services for final demand gained 0.6 percent after rising 0.7 percent in
prices excluding volatile food and energy costs increased 0.5 percent in April
after the prior month's 0.6 percent gain.
gauge of core producer prices - final demand less foods, energy, and trade
services - increased 0.3 percent after rising by the same margin in March.
In the 12
months through April, core PPI for final demand rose 1.9 percent after
increasing 1.4 percent in March.
for the original article in Reuters.