U.S. Producer Prices Inch Slightly Higher In November

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Producer prices in the U.S. edged slightly higher in the month of November, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand inched up by 0.1 percent in November after climbing by 0.3 percent in October. Economists had expected producer prices to rise by 0.2 percent.

The uptick in producer prices was partly due to a jump in energy prices, which surged up by 1.2 percent in November following a 0.8 percent increase in October.

The report also showed food prices rose by 0.5 percent in November after spiking by 2.4 percent in the previous month.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices still crept up by 0.1 percent in November, matching the uptick seen in October. Core prices were expected to increase by 0.2 percent.

The Labor Department said the index for final demand services was unchanged in November after rising by 0.2 percent in October.

Prices for trade services and transportation and warehousing services decreased by 0.3 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, while prices for other services rose by 0.2 percent.

Compared to the same month a year ago, producer prices in November were up by 0.8 percent, reflecting an acceleration from the 0.5 percent growth in October.

The annual rate of growth in core producers also accelerated to 1.4 percent in November from 1.1 percent in the previous month.

"Inflation remains in check, and high frequency data suggests that households are still hesitant to spend at pre-virus levels, signaling that price dynamics will continue to undershoot the Fed's 2% target in the near-term," said Mahir Rasheed, Associate U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

On Thursday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing a modest increase in U.S. consumer prices in the month of November.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2 percent in November after coming in unchanged in October. The uptick in consumer prices matched economist estimates.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices still edged up by 0.2 percent in November after showing no change in the previous month. Economists had expected core prices to inch up by 0.1 percent.

The report said the annual rates of growth in consumer prices and core consumer prices were unchanged from the previous month at 1.2 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

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