WASHINGTON – U.S. wholesale prices rose a mild 0.2 per cent last month, held down by lower food and energy prices, suggesting that inflation remains in check despite the economy’s robust growth.
The Labor Department says its producer price index – which measures inflation before it reaches consumers – rose 2.6 per cent compared with a year earlier, the smallest increase since January. Wholesale prices rose in September after two months of flat or declining readings.
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core wholesale prices rose 0.2 per cent in September and 2.5 per cent from a year earlier.
Inflation has crept higher this year, eroding the value of Americans’ paychecks. Yet core prices remain close to the Federal Reserve’s target of 2 per cent and have yet to show signs of rapid acceleration.