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U.S. Producer Prices Show Modest Uptick In August

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A report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday showed a modest uptick in U.S. producer prices in the month of August.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand inched up by 0.1 percent in August after rising by 0.2 percent in July. Economists had expected prices to come in unchanged.

The slight increase in producer prices came even though energy prices tumbled by 2.5 percent in August after surging up by 2.3 percent in the previous month. Gasoline prices plummeted by 6.6 percent.

Food prices also showed a notable pullback during the month, slumping by 0.6 percent in August after rising by 0.2 percent in July.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices rose by 0.3 percent in August after edging down by 0.1 percent in July. Core prices had been expected to increase by 0.2 percent.

The slightly stronger than expected core price growth came as prices for services climbed by 0.3 percent in August after dipping by 0.1 percent in the previous month.

Prices for trade services and transportation and warehousing services rose by 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, while prices for other services advanced by 0.5 percent.

Compared to the same month a year ago, producer prices in August were up by 1.8 percent, reflecting a modest acceleration from the 1.7 percent growth seen in July.

The annual rate of growth in core consumer prices also accelerated to 2.3 percent in August from 2.1 percent in the previous month.

On Thursday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on consumer price inflation in the month of August.

Consumer prices are expected to inch up by 0.1 percent in August after rising by 0.3 percent in July, while core prices are expected to edge up by 0.2 percent after a 0.3 percent increase in the previous month.

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