Thursday, April 22, 2010
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Higher prices for vegetables helped drive U.S. wholesale prices higher by a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in March, reversing a drop in February, the Labor Department estimated Thursday.
The producer price index has risen by 6% in the past year, led by a 23% rise in energy prices, the government agency said. It’s the largest year-over-year gain since September 2008.
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Excluding often-volatile food and energy prices, the core PPI increased 0.1% in March and is up 0.9% compared with a year earlier.
The big story in the March PPI was wholesale food prices, which rose 2.4%, matching the biggest gain in 26 years. Prices of fresh and dried vegetables soared 49.3%, the most in 16 years. Prices of seafood, meat and dairy goods also rose. But prices of processed foods were unchanged.
Full story here.