Whole­sale prices jump in Oc­to­ber

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Christo­pher Ru­gaber

WASH­ING­TON >> Led by costlier gas, food and chem­i­cals, U.S. whole­sale prices surged 0.6 per­cent in Oc­to­ber, the big­gest month-tomonth rise in six years. Yet ex­clud­ing items that tend to fluc­tu­ate sharply from month to month, in­fla­tion pres­sures re­main tame.

The jump in the pro­ducer price in­dex, which mea­sures prices be­fore they reach con­sumers, fol­lowed a smaller 0.2 per­cent in­crease in Septem­ber. Com­pared with 12 months ear­lier, pro­ducer prices rose a sharp 2.9 per­cent in Oc­to­ber.

But when food, en­ergy and other volatile cat­e­gories are ex­cluded, so-called core whole­sale prices rose only a mod­est 0.2 per­cent in Oc­to­ber and 2.8 per­cent from a year ear­lier.

Higher prices for ser­vices such as trans­porta­tion and ware­hous­ing drove most of Oc­to­ber’s over­all in­crease in whole­sale prices. Many truck­ing com­pa­nies have had to pay bonuses and raise pay to hire enough truck drivers, for ex­am­ple.

And the year-over-year in­crease in whole­sale prices is still lower than it was in the sum­mer, when it topped 3 per­cent. In ad­di­tion, oil prices de­clined in Oc­to­ber, which will likely lower gaso­line costs in the com­ing months. “There is lit­tle sign that a more



Toma­toes go through a wash­ing process at the Los Gatos Tomato Prod­ucts plant in Huron, Cal­i­for­nia.

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