Wholesale Prices Edge Up 0.2 Percent in April

The main driver of the upward movement was a big jump in energy costs.

U.S. wholesale prices edged up 0.2 percent in April, driven higher by a big jump in energy costs.

The Labor Department says the increase in its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, followed an even bigger 0.6 percent March increase.

Wholesale prices are up 2.2 percent over the past year while prices, excluding volatile food and energy, have risen 2.4 percent. Inflation pressures remain under control, a fact that has allowed the Federal Reserve to move to the sidelines in terms of pushing interest rates higher. After four rate hikes in 2018, Fed officials have indicated they expect no further rate hikes this year.

For April, energy prices jumped 1.8 percent following an even bigger 5.6 percent percent March gain. Gasoline prices were up 5.9 percent.

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