Wholesale prices rise 0.1%

The Producer Price Index rose 0.1% in June, the first increase in three months, thanks in part to higher prices for light trucks. The rise in wholesale prices came after drops of 0.2% in April and 0.4% in May, the Labor Department said today. The core rate of wholesale inflation, which excludes energy and food prices, rose 0.2% in June, slightly higher than the 0.1% rise analysts had forecasted. However, for the 12 months ending June, wholesale prices fell 2.1%. That is good news for consumers looking for a bargain, but bad news for manufacturers looking to increase profit margins. Prices for light trucks, including SUVs, rose 0.5%, the biggest increase since February. Automobile prices increased 0.4%. Energy prices were even in June after dropping by 2.3% in May. Gasoline prices rose 1%, residential electricity prices increased 0.7% and natural gas prices were up 0.5%. Those higher costs were tempered by a 0.6% decline in the price of heating oil.

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