US wholesale prices rose record 8.6% over 12 months
AP Oct 14, 2021 5 days ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level rose 8.6% in September compared to a year ago, the largest advance since the 12-month change was first calculated in 2010.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that the monthly increase in its producer price index, which measures inflationary pressures before they reach consumers, was 0.5% for September compared to a 0.7% gain in August.
The 8.6% rise for the 12 months ending in September compared to an 8.3% increase for the 12 months ending in August, which had been the previous record 12-month gain.
The jump in inflation this year reflects higher prices for food and energy and a number of other items from furniture to autos as the pandemic has snarled supply chains and demand has outstripped supply.
The report on wholesale prices showed that core inflation at the wholesale level, excluding volatile energy and food, was up 0.2% in September from August and was 6.8% higher over the past 12 months.
Almost 80% of the overall increase in wholesale prices last month was attributed to a 1.3% rise in the price of goods, the largest increase since May. In September, 40% of the jump in goods prices reflected rising energy prices. Price increases for services rose a smaller 0.2%
Food costs at the wholesale level rose 2% in September while energy prices were up 2.8%, the biggest jump since a 5% surge in March.
Economists said that the jump in wholesale and retail prices reflected impacts of the pandemic as strong demand is running up against supply chain problems.
“The demand impact will fade further over coming months,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. “But there is a risk of more persistent headwinds from broken supply chains that could keep goods prices and inflation high for longer than expected.”
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