WASHINGTON – More expensive food and soda helped drive up a measure of U.S. wholesale prices in January, though overall, inflation stayed tame.
The Labor Department says the producer price index increased 0.2 percent last month, the first increase since September. Food prices jumped 0.7 percent, after a steep decline in December. Gasoline and other energy prices fell.
The index measures the cost of goods before they reach consumers. Wholesale prices are what manufacturers and farmers receive for their products.
In the past 12 months, wholesale prices have risen just 1.4 percent, down from a 4.1 percent increase in the 12 months ending in January 2012.
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.2 percent in January and have increased 1.8 percent in the past 12 months.