FILE- In this Sept. 4, 2018, file photo, sprinklers run as a farmworker walks through a broccoli field in Salinas, Calif. On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, the Labor Department reports on U.S. producer price inflation in February. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

US wholesale prices ticked up 0.1 percent in February

March 13, 2019 - 7:34 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices barely increased last month after falling for three straight months, a sign there is little inflation pressure in the economy.

The Labor Department says the producer price index — which measures price changes before they reach the consumer — rose 0.1 percent in February. It slipped 0.1 percent in January. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core producer prices also rose 0.1 percent. Wholesale prices increased 1.9 percent from a year earlier, and core prices rose 2.5 percent.

Despite an unemployment rate near a five-decade low and faster wage growth, inflation is tame. The consumer price index, released Tuesday, increased just 1.5 percent in February from a year ago. Mild inflation is a major reason the Federal Reserve has paused its interest rate hikes.

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