WASHINGTON — The August producer price data showed no signs of an overall pickup in inflation and the retail sales report showed modest growth.
August PPI posted up 0.3%, with core flat (0.000% unrounded). These resulted in a 1.4% rise overall and a 1.1% core gain over the year.
Food prices were up 0.6% at the wholesale level in a rebound as vegetable and poultry costs rose. Energy posted up 0.8% as liquefied petroleum gas posted 7.5% growth (probably a summer pricing quirk since these prices rose at the same time last year) and gasoline posted a 2.6% increase.
In core, the number broke string of nine gains as cars fell 0.5% (0.2% before adjustment) and light trucks fell 0.3% (0.2% NSA). The vehicle price drops probably reflect end-of-model-year sales.
Soaps, cleaning products and cosmetics also were weak. Alcoholic beverages posted a 0.1% dip, while pharmaceuticals were up 0.2%.
Overall, the latest inflation data show pressures are not building. PPI was capped by Intermediate prices that were flat on foods, and crude prices fell 2.7%.
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