WASHINGTON — The producer price index for finished goods unexpectedly fell in September, dropping 0.6% as energy prices slumped, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Core prices decreased 0.1% for the month, the third core price decline this year.

Energy prices, which jumped 8.0% in August, fell 2.4% in September. About 80% of that decline was attributed to gasoline prices, which fell 5.4%.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected no change in total producer prices and core prices to inch up by 0.1%.

Producer prices rose 1.7% on a monthly basis in August as core prices increased 0.2%.

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