US wholesale prices rise 0.1 pct., a sign inflation in check

The Associated Press
AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices barely rose last month as a sharp decline in the cost of gas offset pricier freight trucking services and mobile phone plans.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the producer price index — which tracks cost changes before they reach the consumer — increased 0.1 percent in November from the previous month. That’s down sharply from a 0.6 percent gain in October. Wholesale prices rose 2.5 percent from a year ago, the smallest annual increase this year.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, wholesale prices rose 0.3 percent in October and 2.7 percent from a year earlier.

The figures suggest inflation pressures have subsided since late last year. That could affect the Federal Reserve’s deliberations on how quickly to lift short-term interest rates in 2019.

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