AP

US producer price inflation eases to still-high 8.5%

Oct 12, 2022, 5:45 AM | Updated: 9:20 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level rose 8.5% in September from a year earlier, the third straight decline though costs remain at painfully high levels.

Wednesday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the producer price index — which measures price changes before they reach the consumer — rose 0.4% in September from August, after two months of declines.

The September monthly increase was larger than expected and was pushed higher by a big increase in hotel room costs and higher prices for other services. Food costs also rose in September from August, after a slight drop the previous month. The cost of fresh and dry vegetables soared nearly 16% in September from August.

The larger-than-expected monthly increase in overall wholesale prices suggests inflation pressures are still strong in the U.S. economy, with the Federal Reserve likely to continue its rapid pace of interest rate hikes at its next meeting in November.

Wholesale gas costs fell last month, but will likely reverse in the coming months now that oil prices are rising again in the wake of planned production cuts by many oil exporting nations. Grocery bills are rising at their fastest pace in decades, and prices at the gas pump are rising again, squeezing consumers’ budgets.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.3% in September from August for the third straight month, and 7.2% compared with a year earlier.

Overall wholesale inflation peaked at 11.7% in March.

Services prices — including health care, lodging, and shipping — rose 0.4% in September, the most in three months. Federal Reserve officials have recently cited rising services prices as a source of concern, because they can take longer to reverse since they mostly reflect the impact of rising wages.

Health care costs rose last month, driven higher by a 0.7% increase in nursing home prices.

Stubbornly-high inflation is draining Americans’ bank accounts, frustrating small businesses and raising alarm bells at the Federal Reserve. It is also causing political headaches for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats, most of whom will face voters in mid-term elections in less than a month.

The Fed has boosted its benchmark short-term interest rate by three percentage points since March to combat rising prices. It’s the fastest pace of rate hikes since the early 1980s. Higher rates are intended to cool consumer and business borrowing and spending and bring down inflation..

Wednesday’s producer price data captures inflation at an earlier stage of production and can often signal where consumer prices are headed. It also feeds into the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, which is called the personal consumption expenditures price index.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

3 hours ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

23 hours ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

24 hours ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

2 days ago

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

4 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

US producer price inflation eases to still-high 8.5%