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WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies paid higher prices for tobacco, pickup trucks and pharmaceuticals in July, driving underlying wholesale inflation up by the most in six months.
This measure of inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is known as the core Producer Price Index. It rose 0.4 percent in July, the biggest increase since January.
The overall PPI, which measures price changes in goods before they reach the consumer, rose 0.2 percent last month, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That follows a 0.4 percent drop in June, the first decline in 17 months.
Gas prices fell for the second straight month. Food costs rose 0.6 percent, the biggest rise since February.
The jump in the core index is unlikely to continue, economists said. One reason is that raw material prices are increasing at a slower pace than the finished goods tracked by the PPI.
Also, the higher core reading was driven largely by costlier tobacco products and pricier pickup trucks, which are probably one-time events.
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