U.S. wholesale prices advanced in March by more than forecast, reflecting broad increases in the costs of services and goods, a Labor Department report showed April 10 in Washington.
The figures, which measure wholesale and other selling prices at businesses, reaffirm the broad view that cost pressures in the production pipeline continue to firm up. Proposed tariffs also threaten to raise costs of imported materials for U.S. manufacturers.
The report showed 0.3% gains in the costs of goods and services. About 70% of the March increase was due to final demand services. Costs for cable and satellite subscriber services jumped 3.6%, the most since January 2009. Expenses also increased for outpatient care, airline services, rail transportation and trucking. Margin costs grew for wholesalers and retailers, the report showed.
Some economists prefer looking at the PPI excluding food, energy and trade services, because it strips out the most volatile components of the inflation gauge.
Some other measures show inflation is making progress as the Federal Reserve anticipates. Policymakers raised the benchmark interest rate in March and are expected to lift borrowing costs at least two more times in 2018.
• Excluding food, energy and trade services, producer costs rose 0.4% for a third month.
• Energy prices dropped 2.1%; food costs rose 2.2%, the most since April 2014.
• Prices for final demand transportation and warehousing services increased 0.6%.