WASHINGTON – The prices U.S. companies receive for their goods and services fell in May, driven lower by cheaper food and gas, evidence that inflation is mild.
The Labor Department says the producer price index, which measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer, dropped 0.2 percent last month. The decline follows two months of strong gains that had suggested inflation might be perking up after being dormant for two years.
In the past 12 months, producer prices have risen 2 percent, matching the Federal Reserve's inflation target.
Retailer and wholesaler profit margins fell 0.5 percent after two months of strong gains. Excluding the volatile food, energy and profit margin categories, core producer prices were unchanged in May and also rose 2 percent in the past year.