PhotoInflation on the wholesale level -- what the government calls “the Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand” -- showed no change last month, according to figures released by the Department of Labor (DOL) The PPI was also unchanged for the 12 months ended in August.

Goods and services prices

The cost of goods one step shy of the retail level was down 0.4%, with 80% of that due to a decline of 1.6% in food costs. In addition, energy prices were down 0.8%.

A breakdown shows meat prices fell 3.6%, with prices for gasoline, fresh and dry vegetables, jet fuel, chicken eggs, and diesel fuel also lower. The cost of pharmaceutical preparations, meanwhile, jumped 1.0%, with prices for electric power and natural, processed, and imitation cheese also higher. Goods prices excluding foods and energy inched up 0.1%.

Services costs, on the other hand, edged up 0.1% in August with prices for outpatient care (partial) advancing 0.5%. Also on the rise were the costs of apparel, jewelry, footwear, and accessories retailing; guestroom rental; portfolio management; and residential real estate services (partial).

Conversely, prices for machinery and equipment wholesaling plunged 2.9%. Chemicals and allied products wholesaling, services related to securities brokerage and dealing, and airline passenger services also fell.

Core inflation

The PPI less foods, energy, and trade services, so-called “core inflation,” was up 0.3% in August after no change a month earlier.

For the 12 months ended in August, the core rose 1.2% -- the largest rise since a 1.3% surge for the 12 months ended December 2014.

The complete report may be found on the DOL website.

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