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Wholesale prices rise on higher gas costs

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By Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices rose in October for the fourth straight month due to higher gas costs, but there was little sign of inflation as the cost of food, cars and computers all fell.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the Producer Price Index rose 0.4 percent last month, the same increase as September and August. Wall Street analysts had expected a larger increase. The index is up by 4.3 percent in the past 12 months.

But excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the so-called core index fell by 0.6 percent, the most in more than four years. That decline was driven by falling prices for new cars and trucks.

The report, which measures prices pressures before they reach the consumer, showed that companies have little ability to pass on the higher costs they are paying for grains and other commodities. Food prices fell slightly, confounding economists' expectations that they would rise due to higher costs for corn, soybeans and sugar.

The drop in the core index was driven by lower prices for new cars and pickup trucks. Car prices fell by a seasonally adjusted 3 percent, the department said, and pickup truck prices fell by 4.3 percent. Both were the biggest drops in about four years.


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