WASHINGTON — U.S. wholesale prices jumped 0.4% in September as food costs rose by the largest amount since May.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that the September increase in its producer price index, which measures inflation before it reached the consumer, followed a 0.3% rise in August and a 0.6% surge in July which had been the biggest monthly gain since late 2018.
The 0.4% September rise was bigger than economists had been expecting and reflected a 1.2% increase in food costs, the sharpest rise since a 5.6% spike in May, as coronavirus-related shutdowns at food processing plants triggered shortages.
For September energy prices fell for a second month, dropping 0.3% after a 0.1% dip in August.
The government had reported Tuesday that inflation at the retail level was up 0.2% in September, just half the August gain, even though the price of used cars jumped by the largest amount in more than a half-century.
Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press