Customers browse produce for sale while shopping in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, U.S. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast in October

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. wholesale prices advanced more than forecast in October, boosted by higher margins at fuel retailers, a Labor Department report showed Tuesday in Washington. Compared with a year earlier, producer prices rose the most in more than five years.

Highlights of Producer Prices (October)

  • Producer-price index rose 0.4% (est. 0.1% gain) for a second month
  • PPI climbed 2.8% from a year earlier, the most since February 2012, after 2.6% gain in prior 12-month period
  • Excluding food and energy, core gauge rose 0.4% from prior month and was up 2.4% from October 2016

Key Takeaways

The report indicates price pressures in the production pipeline may be starting to build even as broader inflation remains below the Federal Reserve’s goal.

The PPI reflected a 0.5 percent increase in services costs, the most since April, and a 0.3 percent gain in the cost of goods, the report showed.

Nearly half of the gain in services costs reflected higher margins for fuel retailers, which surged almost 25 percent. Almost half of the advance in goods prices was attributable to pharmaceuticals, which climbed 2.1 percent.

The PPI excluding food, energy, and trade services, a measure some economists prefer because it strips out the most volatile components, rose 2.3 percent from October 2016, the most in records to mid-2014, following a 2.1 percent gain.

Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast in October

Other Details

  • Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy, and trade services, producer costs climbed 0.2 percent for a third month
  • Energy-related goods prices were unchanged in October, while food costs climbed 0.5 percent, the most in four months

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