February 19, 2009

Wholesale sales rise in month

The Producer Price Index rose more than expected in the United States in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.

The PPI, expected to rise 0.2 percent, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent, healthy news for those who feared an economy-stalling bout of deflation would continue.

The PPI fell 1.9 percent in December and 2.5 percent in November.

Core prices for finished goods -- prices excluding food and energy -- rose 0.5 percent in the month.

In the month, the index for gasoline jumped 15 percent after falling 26.2 percent a month ago, the report said.

In contrast to the price turnaround, agricultural chemical prices dropped 14.5 percent, following an 8.2 percent drop in December. Steel prices, rolled steel to sheet metal, also fell in January, the report said.

Wholesale prices for passenger cars edged up 0.3 percent. Prices also rose for toys, sporting goods, communication equipment and furniture.