Prices paid to U.S. producers rose 0.2% in January, the first rise in four months, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
The producer price index increase followed a 0.3% drop in December. The so-called core PPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.2%, Labor said.
Economists had forecast a 0.3% decrease in the PPI and a core rate increase of 0.2%, Bloomberg News reported.
The PPI gain was led by a 0.7% increase in food after a 0.8% drop a month earlier, Bloomberg reported.
An increase in the PPI could indicate strong demand for goods, which would mean more shipments for trucking companies. However, if inflation begins to accelerate too quickly, it also could hurt the economy.