US wholesale prices rise on gas spike

| Friday, March 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

US wholesale prices rise on gas spike

A measure of U.S. wholesale prices rose in February by the most in five months, pushed higher by more expensive gas and pharmaceuticals. But outside those increases, inflation was mild.

The producer price index grew a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in February from January, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's up from 0.2 percent in the previous month. Wholesale gas prices increased 7.2 percent. Even with the increase, wholesale prices have risen just 1.7 percent in the past 12 months. That's below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent inflation target. Mild inflation gives the Fed more latitude to continue with its aggressive policies to spur more economic growth. The index measures the cost of goods before they reach consumers. Wholesale prices are what manufacturers and farmers receive for their products from retailers and distributors.

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