Wholesale inflation fell slightly last month as gas prices tumbled.
The Labor Department reported its Producer Price Index (PPI) declined 0.1% in August from the month before, matching economists’ estimates. The annual increase was 8.7%, below forecasts and down from July’s gain of 9.8%.
Excluding costs for food, energy, and trade services, prices rose 0.2% for the month and 5.6% year-over-year, down from 5.8% in July.
Final demand costs for goods declined 1.2% in August, with three-quarters of the decline attributable to the drop in gasoline prices, which sank 12.7%. Food costs were largely unchanged, although egg prices plunged 25% after soaring 44.2% in July.
Prices for Services Rise
The index of final demand services was up 0.4%, with a gain in margins for trade services accounting for 60% of the increase.
The data helped in easing inflation concerns somewhat after the department’s report yesterday showing consumer prices were higher than expected last month, leading to a major selloff in U.S. equities.