U.S. headline producer prices rise strongly in October

US Producer Prices Rose in October

Economists said there was only a week correlation between PPI and the more important Consumer Price Index - due out Wednesday - which the Fed watches more closely. In the goods category, food prices rose 0.5 percent, while energy prices came in flat after a rise of 3.4 percent in the prior month.

"There's this perception that there's a lot of supply waiting in the wings, and as prices have moved higher, that's made the marginal producer want to come out and just find more oil", said Eric Freedman, chief investment officer of U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The US PPI was better than expected at 0.4% vs 0.1% est.

Margins for fuels and lubricants retailing soared 24.9 percent, accounting for nearly half of the increase in the cost of services last month. Producer prices rose 2.8% for the twelve months ended October 2017, the largest gain since the twelve months ended February 2012. Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, wholesale prices rose 0.3 in October from September.

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While the Federal Reserve focuses on a measure of consumer price inflation for its monetary policy decisions, a rising PPI could signal more normal price behavior is ahead if that passes through to retail prices. Producer prices rose faster than expected in October. US stocks slipped as declining oil prices hit energy stocks. There were increases in the cost of pharmaceutical preparations, fresh and dry vegetables, meat and tobacco. Prices for final demand trade jumped 1.1% in October after increasing 0.8% in September.

The index for energy goods such as oil and gas was unchanged for the month. The so-called core PPI increased 2.3 percent in the 12 months through October after advancing 2.1 percent in September.

A weakening dollar could gradually lift core PPI.

Healthcare increased 0.3%. The healthcare costs feed into the PCE which is the Fed's favored inflation measure.

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