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Wholesale prices drop 0.6 percent in March, biggest decline in 10 months, as gas prices plunge

A measure of wholesale prices fell by the largest amount in 10 months in March, reflecting a big drop gasoline prices.

The Labor Department says its producer price index fell 0.6 percent in March compared with February. In February, wholesale prices had jumped 0.7 percent.

The March decline reflected a 6.8 percent plunge in gas prices, the sharpest drop since November. Overall energy prices fell 3.4 percent, the biggest decline in three years. Food prices posted a 0.8 percent rise in March.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2 percent in March. Wholesale and retail inflation have remained mild, apart from sharp swings in gas prices.

For the 12 months ending in March, wholesale prices are up 1.1 percent, the smallest 12-month rise since last July.

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