U.S. wholesale prices rose by the most in six years last month, led higher by more expensive gas, food, and chemicals.
The Labor Department said Friday that the producer price index — which measures price increases before they reach the consumer — leapt 0.6 percent in October, after a smaller 0.2 percent rise in September. Producer prices increased 2.9 percent from a year earlier.
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core wholesale prices rose 0.5 percent in October and 2.6 percent from a year earlier.
Despite last month’s increase, the figures suggest inflation pressures are mostly in check. The year-over-year price increase is lower than it was in the summer, when it topped 3 percent. And oil prices declined in October, which will likely to lower gas costs in the coming months.
The Federal Reserve is keeping a close eye on price changes as it monitors the economy for signs of overheating. The unemployment rate is at a five-decade low of 3.7 percent and companies are raising wages and salaries to attract and keep workers. Average hourly pay rose in October from a year earlier at the fastest pace in nearly a decade.
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