US wholesale prices jump in May, led by eggs, gasoline
Prices at the wholesale level in the United States rose at the fastest pace in nearly 3 years in May, pushed higher by a sharp jump in the cost of gasoline and a record increase in the price eggs related to an outbreak of avian influenza. But outside of increases in volatile food and energy costs, core inflation remained moderate.
The producer price
index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, spiked 0.5 percent in May, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday. It was the biggest one-month increase since September 2012. The increase followed a 0.4 percent drop in wholesale prices in April. The May increase reflected a 17 percent rise in gasoline prices, the biggest hike since August 2009, and a record 56.4 percent surge in egg prices.
Core prices, which exclude energy and food, rose just 0.1 percent in May.
Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices are down 1.1 percent, reflecting big declines in energy prices over the past year. Core inflation is up a modest 0.6 percent over the same 12-month period.
For May, energy prices rose a record 5.9 percent with the cost of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and home heating gains.
Food costs rose 0.8 percent in May, the biggest one-month gain since a 1.8 percent rise in April.
Economists had expected the increases given that gas prices, which had been falling sharply, have begun to tick higher. The nationwide average for a gallon of regular gas is now up to US$2.76, compared to US$2.66 a month ago. Still, a gallon of gas is 88
all posting big cents below where ago.
Federal Reserve officials are monitoring measures of inflation as they weigh whether to raise a key short-term interest rate. They have kept it at a record low near zero for more than six years. Fed officials have said they want to be “reasonably confident” that inflation is headed toward their 2 percent target, which would signal a stronger economy.
it was a year