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

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