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Fri Oct 12, 2012, 09:37 AM


Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rise More Than Forecast on Fuel [View all]

By Alex Kowalski - Oct 12, 2012 8:47 AM ET

Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose more than forecast in September, reflecting a jump in fuel costs that failed to trickle down to other goods.

The producer price index climbed 1.1 percent after a 1.7 percent gain in August, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 76 economists called for a 0.8 percent increase. So-called core producer inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was unchanged, the first time it didn’t increase since October 2011.

Facing a global economic slowdown, businesses may have difficulty passing higher energy costs onto customers, keeping a lid on prices. In addition, weak demand from abroad and in the U.S. will probably prevent the cost of raw materials from flaring, limiting inflation pressures and allowing the Federal Reserve to focus on jump-starting employment growth.

“Inflation is still non-problematic,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto, who correctly forecast the jump in the price index. “The Fed has made clear that getting unemployment down is priority number one as long as inflation is reasonably contained, and we don’t see anything that’s going to shift that in the near term.”



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