US wholesale price inflation climbs to summer high in August
Demand for services drove wholesale prices to their highest level of the summer during August, helped in particular by higher prices for things like guest room rental, apparel retailing and insurance.The headline produce price index — a measure of industrial inflation — rose 0.1 per cent month-on-month in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Wednesday. That was down from a 0.2 per cent pace in July but ahead of the zero result economists had forecast.That took the annual rate to 1.8 per cent last month, up from 1.7 per cent in July and Wall Street expectations it would hold at that level. It was the highest reading since May.The BLS said the advance was primarily due a rise in final demand services, rather than final demand goods, which are finished products as opposed to industrial components. Of note, the bureau’s index for guest room rental rose 6.4 per cent in August. Other indices to post increases included: fuels and lubricants retailing; apparel, footwear and accessories retailing; chemicals and allied products wholesaling; and insurance.Indices for health, beauty, and optical goods retailing and for support activities for oil and gas operations decreased, however.Stripping out volatile food and energy prices, core producer prices accelerated to 2.3 per cent year-on-year in August from 2.1 per cent a month earlier, and 0.1 per cent ahead of market forecasts.