Wholesale prices held flat in November, providing another encouraging inflation signal

Wholesale inflation was unchanged in November, PPI shows

Wholesale prices were flat in November, providing a leading indicator that inflation is easing, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The producer price index, which measures a broad range of prices on final demand items, was unchanged for the month, following a 0.4% decrease in October but less than the Dow Jones estimate for a 0.1% gain. On a year-over-year basis, headline PPI accelerated just 0.9%, after peaking above 11.5% in March 2022.

Excluding food and energy, the index also was unchanged against an estimate for a 0.2% increase. Excluding food, energy and trade services, PPI increased 0.1%, posting a sixth straight increase and good for a 12-month gain of 2.5%.

The release comes a day after the Labor Department said its consumer price index rose just 0.1% in November and 3.1% from a year ago. The PPI gauges the prices producers receive for what they produce while CPI measures what consumers pay and is considered a leading signal for prices in the pipeline.

Together, the easing inflation data, along with other economic signals, likely will give the Federal Reserve enough room to hold benchmark interest rates steady when its policy meeting concludes Wednesday.

At the wholesale level, indexes for both goods and services were unchanged, though there were some big swings within components.

Gasoline, for instance, fell 4.1% while chicken eggs soared 58.8%. The index for final demand energy fell 1.2%, offsetting increases of 0.6% for foods and 0.2% for goods less food and energy.

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