US producer prices rose in August as energy costs shot up

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Higher energy costs led to prices at the wholesale level rising in August at the fastest pace in four months.

The Labor Department says its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, rose 0.2 percent last month. It was the largest monthly increase since a 0.5 percent gain in April. Inflationary pressures have largely been subdued in recent months. Much of the increase in August came from a 3.3 percent surge in energy costs. Food expenses slipped in August, including a sharp 20.6 percent decline in wheat prices.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, also rose 0.1 percent last month. Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices are up a moderate 2.4 percent while core prices have risen 2.0 percent.

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