Wholesaler Prices in U.S. Little Changed
Wholesale prices in the U.S. were little changed in August as costs decreased for energy and automobiles.
The producer price index was unchanged after a 0.2 percent increase in July, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists projected no change, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The so-called core measure, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 0.1 percent, less than forecast.
Slowing growth overseas and in the U.S. is helping restrain raw-material costs, underscoring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke view that price gains are “transitory.” Cooling prices make it easier for policy makers to take additional steps when they meet next week to keep the economy expanding.
“Inflation is cooling and that will provide some relief for consumers,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, who projected no change in August producer prices. “With inflation seeming to crest, it gives the Fed a freer hand.”
Retail sales in August unexpectedly stagnated as a lack of jobs restrained shoppers, highlighting the risk the economy will stall. The unchanged reading followed a 0.3 percent gain for July that was smaller than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed in Washington.
Posted: 05/19/2013 12:24:00
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