WASHINGTON — The producer price index fell 0.1% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The decrease followed a 0.3% increase in the index for November.

Core producer prices, excluding food and energy, rose 0.3% after a 0.1% rise the month before.

The December decline in the price index defied the 0.1% gain projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and the core price index increase was greater than their median 0.1% estimated gain.

The decrease in PPI was the result of drops in the price of food and energy goods, which were both down 0.8%.

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