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US producer price rise largest in 9mths

Friday, April 11 13:51:51

U.S. producer prices recorded their largest increase in nine months in March as the cost of food and services rose, pointing to some pockets of inflation at the factory gate.

The Labor Department said today its seasonally adjusted producer price index for final demand increased 0.5pc last month after slipping 0.1pc in February. That was the largest increase since June last year.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast prices received by the nation's farms, factories and refineries edging up 0.1pc last month.

Food prices jumped 1.1pc, the largest increase since May, after rising 0.6pc in February.

Food prices were pushed up by a surge in the cost of pork, which saw its largest rise since August 2008. Sausage, deli meat and boxed meat prices rose by the most since August 1980.

Food prices have now risen for a third straight month, in part reflecting a drought in the West.

Energy prices fell 1.2pc, the largest decline in nearly a year. Services for final demand spiked 0.7pc, the largest gain since January 2010, after falling 0.3pc in February.

In the 12 months through March, producer prices advanced 1.4pc after rising 0.9pc in February.

Producer prices excluding volatile food and energy costs rose 0.6pc, the biggest gain since March 2011. The so-called core PPI for final demand had declined 0.2pc in February.

Another gauge of core producer prices - final demand less foods, energy, and trade services - rose 0.3pc after ticking up 0.1pc.

In the 12 months through March, core PPI for final demand rose 1.4pc after increasing 1.1pc in February. (Reuters)