Wholesale Inflation Edged Up in July

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wholesale price increases in the United States picked up slightly in July yet still suggested that inflationary pressures have eased this year since reaching alarming heights in 2022.

The Labor Department reported Friday that its producer price index --- which measures inflation before it hits consumers--- rose 0.8% last month from July 2022. The latest figure followed a 0.2% year-over-year increase in June, which had been the smallest annual rise since August 2020.

On a month-to-month basis, producer prices rose 0.3% from June to July, up from no change from May to June.

The producer price figures the Labor Department issued Friday reflect prices charged by manufacturers, farmers and wholesalers. The figures can provide an early sign of how fast consumer inflation will rise in the coming months. Since peaking at 11.7% in March 2022, wholesale inflation has steadily tumbled in the face of the Federal Reserve's 11 interest rate hikes.

On Thursday, the government reported that consumer prices rose 3.3% in July from 12 months earlier, an uptick from June's 3% year-over-year increase. But in an encouraging sign, so-called core consumer inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose just 0.2% from June, matching the smallest month-to-month increase in nearly two years.