WASHINGTON – Wholesale prices fell for a fourth straight month in February as a decline in food prices offset an increase in gasoline prices.
The Labor Department says its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, dropped 0.5 percent in February following a 0.8 percent fall in January, which had been a record decline in a government series that goes back to 2009.
Core producer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, also fell 0.5 percent in February. Over the past 12 months, producer prices are down 0.6 percent while core prices are up a modest 1 percent.
Inflation since last year has moved even farther below the Federal Reserve's goal of seeing prices rise about 2 percent annually.