US producer prices up 0.6% in July, biggest jump since 2018

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Photo credit FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2013, file photo, workers load large containers of nectarines for sorting at Eastern ProPak Farmers Cooperative in Glassboro, N.J. U.S. wholesale prices fell 0.6% in February 2020, the biggest decline in five years, led by a sharp drop in energy costs. The Labor Department said the decline in its producer price index, which measures price pressures before they reach the consumer, followed a 0.5% rise in January. It was the sharpest decline since a similar 0.6% drop in January 2015. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices shot up an unexpected 0.6% in July, biggest gain since October 2018, with energy prices moving sharply higher.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the jump last month in its producer price index — which measures inflation before it reaches consumers — followed a 0.2% drop in June. Wholesale energy prices shot up 5.3% in July. Excluding the volatile food and energy prices, producer prices rose 0.5%.

Over the past year, producer prices are down 0.4%, and core prices are up 0.3%. The sharp recession caused by the coronavirus outbreak has constrained inflation.