New PPI numbers: Cost of doing business stays low

At least we don't have to worry about inflation. That's the gist of the latest producer price report -- always a harbinger of broader consumer price shifts -- released by the U.S. Labor Department this morning.

Producer prices rose a scant 0.1 percent in February, and the "core rate" (a key for determining core business expenses because it excludes more volatile food and energy prices) rose just 0.2 percent; each was below the Bloomberg News consensus estimates of 0.4 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. Those numbers follow a 0.8 increase in January and a -1.9 percent decline in December 2008. So, despite the vast flood of new federal money and the largest government spending package in several generations, prices don't look to be going anywhere anytime soon.