Producer Prices Grew 0.4% in September

The Labor Department said Thursday that its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, has risen 2.6 percent over the past 12 months. However, the producer price (PPI) uptick was largely a result of higher energy costs in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Prices for final demand foods were unchanged. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index gained 2.6% for the 12 months ended in September, the largest rise since an advance of 2.8% for the 12 months ended February 2012.

The producer price index - a key measure of industrial inflation - is a measure of the average change over time in the wholesale prices charged by domestic producers of goods and services.

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A plunge in energy prices caused producer prices to fall in 2015 and hold flat most of previous year. The index has shown weakness in recent months, in line with other inflation readings.

The Fed raised its short-term interest rate in March and June, and a third increase is expected when Federal Reserve officials meet in December.

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