Producer Prices Ease in August

Investing News

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.

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