WASHINGTON - The producer price index rose 0.3% in July, above expectations for a 0.2% rise, as food prices rose 0.5% and the core PPI rose 0.4%, offsetting a 0.4% decline in energy prices, data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed.

Despite the larger-than-expected increase in the overall PPI, the largest since February, the year/year rise for that measure slowed further to 0.5%, the slowest 12-month rate since a 2.0% decline in October 2009.

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