WASHINGTON – Higher energy costs pushed U.S. wholesale prices up 0.3 percent last month. Prices rose a modest 1.4 percent over the past year, the lowest one-year gain since April.
The Labor Department says that excluding volatile food and energy costs wholesale prices were unchanged in August. They were up 1.1 percent over the past year, smallest gain since June 2010 and another sign that inflation remains under control.
Energy prices climbed in late August as tensions rose over Syria, accounting for two-thirds of the monthly increase in wholesale prices. More expensive vegetables and chicken lifted food prices 0.6 percent in August from July.
The Federal Reserve, which meets next week, closely monitors wholesale and consumer prices, determined to keep inflation running at around 2 percent