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Wholesale inflation up sharply in July

A big jump in energy costs pushed inflation at the wholesale level up sharply in July. However, outside of energy, price pressures were moderate.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A big jump in energy costs pushed inflation at the wholesale level up sharply in July. However, outside of energy, price pressures were moderate.

The Labor Department reported that wholesale prices rose by 0.6 percent in July. That was far above the 0.1 percent that analysts had expected and reflected a big jump in energy costs.

But core wholesale inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose by a much more moderate 0.1 percent, even better than the 0.2 percent gain analysts had expected.

The Federal Reserve said at its meeting last week that it still saw the possibility that inflation will not moderate as the biggest threat to the economy.

However since that meeting, financial markets have been roiled by problems in global credit markets. That has raised expectations among investors that the Fed will move in coming months to cut interest rates to make sure that widening credit problems don’t push the country into a recession.

The government releases the more closely followed report on consumer inflation on Wednesday.

The report on producer prices, which reflection inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, showed energy costs jumped by 2.5 percent last month, reversing a 1.1 percent decline in June. Gasoline prices were up 3.2 percent.

Food prices dropped for a third straight month declining by 0.1 percent in July.