US producer prices rebound more than expected in April

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US producer prices rebounded in April, climbing by the most in three months amid an increase in food and energy prices and signalling that the previous month’s decline was short-lived.

The US producer price index rose 0.5 per cent in April from the previous month when they fell 0.1 per cent — their first drop in 7 months, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was quicker than the 0.2 per cent increase that economists had forecast.

The report showed that the index for final energy demand rose 0.8 per cent in April following a 2.9 per cent drop in March.

Stripping out more volatile items like food and energy, inflation at the wholesale level rose 0.4 per cent month-on-month, compared with economists’ expectations for a 0.2 per cent increase.

That left headline PPI up 2.5 per cent from a year ago and core PPI up 1.9 per cent from a year ago — above economists estimates.

The data come as the Federal Reserve continues to monitor inflation as it mulls its next interest rate rise and considers when to begin unwinding its balance sheet. At its last meeting the central bank noted the slowdown in inflation while pointing out that the 12-month rate of headline price growth remained close to its 2 per cent target.

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