Executive Briefings

U.S. Producer Prices Rose More Than Expected in September, Economists Say

Prices paid by U.S. businesses for goods and services increased more than expected in September, economists said, amid other signs that inflationary pressures may be increasing. The Labor Department said its producer price index was up 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with August. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.2 percent increase.

The price index for goods advanced 0.7 percent in September, following a 0.4 percent decline in August. The government attributed 30 percent of that increase to a 5.3 percent increase in gasoline prices.

The indexes for diesel fuel, jet fuel, and residential natural gas also moved higher. Energy prices as a whole were up 2.5 percent, after a 0.8 percent decline in August, and food prices rose 0.5 percent, after a 1.6 percent the previous month.

Excluding the food and energy categories, prices rose 0.2 percent last month and, excluding food, energy and trade services, so-called core prices were up 1.5 percent for the 12 months ended in September — the largest annual gain since November 2014 though still short of the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent inflation target.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, weak inflation is one factor that has held back the Fed from raising its benchmark interest rate since December.

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The price index for goods advanced 0.7 percent in September, following a 0.4 percent decline in August. The government attributed 30 percent of that increase to a 5.3 percent increase in gasoline prices.

The indexes for diesel fuel, jet fuel, and residential natural gas also moved higher. Energy prices as a whole were up 2.5 percent, after a 0.8 percent decline in August, and food prices rose 0.5 percent, after a 1.6 percent the previous month.

Excluding the food and energy categories, prices rose 0.2 percent last month and, excluding food, energy and trade services, so-called core prices were up 1.5 percent for the 12 months ended in September — the largest annual gain since November 2014 though still short of the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent inflation target.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, weak inflation is one factor that has held back the Fed from raising its benchmark interest rate since December.

Read Full Article