WASHINGTON — The producer price index rose 0.2% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

Core producer prices, excluding food and energy, also rose 0.2%.

The median estimates from economists polled by Thomson Reuters were for no change in the overall number and a 0.2% increase for the core number.

Energy goods overall showed a 1.5% increase. Gasoline prices rose 2.7%, auto prices rose 0.5% and apparel gained 1.0%.

Food prices fell 1.4% overall. The big declines were in vegetables, down 12.2%, and fruit, down 11.1%.

Year over year, the PPI was up 7.3%, its largest increase since an 8.8% increase in the year ended September 2008. Core year-over-year producer prices rose 2.1%, their biggest increase since the 2.3% annual rise for the period ended in August 2009.

The May increase for intermediate goods was 0.9% overall, the same as the core increase. Crude goods were down 4.1%, their biggest drop since a 4.4% slide in July 2009. Crude energy products fell 5.2%, including a 10.9% drop in petroleum.

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