Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – U.S. producer prices edged up slightly in December as the biggest rise in food costs in eight months offset a further decline in energy prices. The tiny overall increase indicated that inflation pressures remain modest.
The Labor Department says its producer price index rose 0.1% in January after having fallen 0.2% in December. Over the past year, the PPI, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, is down 0.2%.
Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, rose 0.4% in January, the biggest one-month jump in 15 months. Over the past 12 months, core inflation is up 0.6%.
A big drop in energy prices in the past two years and a strong dollar have combined to keep inflation low.