U.S. Producer Price Growth Matches Economist Estimates In April

(RTTNews) - Reflecting a continued jump in energy prices, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing producer prices increased in line with economist estimates in the month of April.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand rose by 0.2 percent in April after climbing by 0.6 percent in March. The uptick in prices matched expectations.

The modest increase in producer prices was partly due to a continued spike in energy prices, which surged up by 1.8 percent in April after soaring by 5.6 percent in March. Gasoline prices led the way higher, skyrocketing by 5.9 percent.

On the other hand, the report said food prices dipped by 0.2 percent in April after rising by 0.3 percent in March, reflecting an 11.6 percent nosedive in prices for fresh and dry vegetables.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices inched up by 0.1 percent in April following a 0.3 percent increase in March. Economists had expected core prices to edge up by 0.2 percent.

The modest increase in core prices came as prices for services also crept up by 0.1 percent in April after climbing by 0.3 percent in March.

While prices for trade services fell by 0.5 percent, prices for transportation and warehousing services jumped by 1.0 percent and prices for other services rose by 0.3 percent.

Compared to the same month a year ago, producer prices were up by 2.2 percent in April, unchanged from the previous month. The annual rate of core price growth was also unchanged at 2.4 percent.

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release a separate report on consumer price inflation in the month of April.

Consumer prices are expected to climb by 0.4 percent for the second consecutive month, while core consumer prices are expected to rise by 0.2 percent in April after inching up by 0.1 percent in March.

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