Wholesale prices up 1% in March, energy leads the way again


FILE – In this April 29, 2020 file photo, amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, a shopper wears a mask as she looks over meat products at a grocery store in Dallas. The rise in wholesale prices moderated a bit in February after a record increase in January with both months being hit with higher energy prices. The Labor Department reported Friday, March 12, 2021, that its producer price index, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers. increased by 0.5% last month following a record jump of 1.3% in January. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Wholesale prices jumped again in March pushed by another big increase in energy prices, the government reported Friday.

The Labor Department’s producer price index, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers, rose 1% in March, which follows last month’s 0.5% gain and a record jump of 1.3% in January.

Energy prices jumped 5.9%, the Labor Department said Friday. That follows increases of 6% last month, 5.1% in January and 4.7% in December.

Over the past year, wholesale prices are up 4.2%, the biggest jump since a 4.5% increase for the 12 months ending in September 2011.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 3.1% over the past 12 months, well past the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%.

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