Producer Price Gains Ease Back

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WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. producer prices for finished goods rose in September but at a slower pace than August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Prices were up 1.7 percent, seasonally adjusted in August, making the 1.1 percent rise in September something of a relief. The August gain was the sharpest monthly increase in producer price inflation since June 2009.

A monthly price gain of 1.1 percent is still high for the year. Going back 12 months, the second highest monthly gain was 0.9 percent in September 2011. The next highest gain of the past 12 months was 0.4 percent in February.

On an annual basis, prices were up 2.1 percent in September from 2 percent in August. The annual inflation rate for producer prices, however, is significantly lower than the peak of the last 12 months, a 7 percent annual rise in September 2011.

Prices for finished goods in the energy sector provided most of the push in September, rising 4.7 percent after going up 6.4 percent in August.

Core prices, which exclude food and energy items, were flat in September. For goods still in production, called intermediate goods, prices rose 1.5 percent in September, after a 1.1 percent rise in August.

For raw materials, called crude goods, producer prices were up 2.8 percent, down from a 5.8 percent increase in August.

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