Rise in U.S. producer-price index fueled by gas costs


Higher gas prices toward the end of summer pushed up wholesale inflation, but price increases for most goods and services remained mild.WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. inflation at the wholesale level rebounded toward the end of summer, but most of the increase reflected higher gasoline prices.
A nearly 10% jump in the cost of gas accounted for most of the increase in wholesale inflation last month.
The latest snapshot on wholesale prices, however, indicated that inflation is still muted.
Aside from fuel, prices of most other goods and services were little changed.
And inflation further down the pipeline — as reflected by raw and partly finished goods — have eased off recent multi-year highs.
Absent clear signs of rising inflation, the Federal Reserve can afford to be patient before raising interest rates again.
What’s more, Hurricane Irma caused widespread fuel shortages in Florida that could keep pressure on fuel costs nationwide as supplies are rushed to the state.
The increase in prices in August pushed the 12-month rate of wholesale inflation to 2.4% from 1.9%, just a tick below a five-year high.
The closely followed core rate strips out the volatile categories of energy, food and trade and is viewed as a more stable barometer of inflationary trends.
U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat opening for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.28% Treasury yields were lower.
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