U.S. Wholesale Prices Climbed More Than Forecast in November

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. wholesale prices rose more than forecast in November, boosted by a jump in the costs of goods that included gasoline, a Labor Department report showed Tuesday in Washington.

Highlights of Producer Prices (November)

  • Producer-price index rose 0.4% (est. 0.3%) for a third straight month
  • PPI advanced 3.1% from a year earlier, the most since January 2012
  • Excluding food and energy, core gauge rose 0.3% from prior month and was up 2.4% from November 2016

Key Takeaways

Price pressures in the production pipeline are firming up gradually, with commodity costs rising the most since January even as services prices cooled. The report showed a 1 percent gain in the cost of goods, with more than two-thirds of the gain due to a 15.8 percent jump in gasoline prices that was the biggest since 2009.

Costs of light trucks, pharmaceuticals, beef and residential electric power also moved higher.

The PPI excluding food, energy, and trade services, a measure some economists prefer because it strips out the most volatile components, increased 2.4 percent from November 2016, the most in records back to mid-2014.

Nonetheless, inflation at the household level remains below the Federal Reserve’s goal. Investors still expect that Fed policy makers, meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, will raise the benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point on the heels of an improving economy and a solid job market.

U.S. Wholesale Prices Climbed More Than Forecast in November

Other Details

  • Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy, and trade services, producer costs increased 0.4 percent from the previous month, the most since April
  • Costs of final demand services rose 0.2 percent in November after a 0.5 percent increase
  • Food prices rose 0.3 percent after a 0.5 percent gain
  • Energy costs jumped 4.6 percent, the most since May 2015

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