Gas Prices Fuel Producer Price Increase
The Producer Price Index for finished goods increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.7% for February, according to a Labor Department report (link opens in PDF) released today. Market analysts had expected a 0.6% rise, but their estimate for producer prices excluding food and energy proved spot-on at 0.2%. After a dip in the last quarter of 2012, this newest report marks the second straight month of seasonally adjusted price increases.
Finished food prices fell 0.5% after January's 39% spike in fresh and dry vegetables reversed for an 18% decline. A 3% increase in energy costs fueled much of this month's increase, after reduced gasoline supply for 2012 pushed up prices by 7.2%.
Prices for intermediate goods increased 1.3% for February (also due primarily to energy), while crude goods prices fell 0.3% due to cheaper foodstuffs.
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