Key inflation gauge hits double digits for February | Economy

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Prices continued to rise in February as another key indicator of inflation soared into double digits.

The U.S. producer price index, which tracks what U.S. producers receive on average for their goods and services over time, rose 10% for the 12 months to February, unadjusted seasonal, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That was a slightly faster pace of price increases than economists had expected.

For January, 12-month price inflation was also revised to 10% from 9.7% originally reported, the first time the index hit double digits since the data series began in 2010.

On a month-to-month basis, seasonally adjusted producer prices rose 0.8% in February, slightly less than expected and below January’s level.

Where have prices gone up?

Most of February’s price increase was due to higher energy costs. World oil prices spiked in late February when Russia invaded Ukraine. Since the start of the year, US oil prices have risen nearly 30%.

Nearly 40% of the rise in prices for finished products in February is attributable, for example, to the rise in gas prices. Apart from energy, cars, trucks and dairy products have also become more expensive.

Prices for products sold to other businesses, such as parts, also increased primarily due to energy costs.

Thus, removing energy costs paints a much narrower picture of producer price inflation.

Excluding energy, food and commercial services, the PPI rose a modest 0.2% in February – significantly less than in January and the lowest level since November 2020 – and 6.6 % over the 12 month period, also down year-to-date.

This is a developing story. It will be updated

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