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March 14, 2013 8:40 AM, EDT
Producer Price Index Rises in February

Prices paid to U.S. producers rose 0.7% in February, led by higher energy costs, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The increase in the producer price index followed a 0.2% gain in January. The so-called core PPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.2%, Labor said.

The rise in the PPI matched economists’ median forecast, Bloomberg News reported. The core rate was projected to rise 0.1%.

The increase was led by a 3% gain in energy costs, the first rise in five months, Bloomberg said.

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.