The prices U.S. producers receive for their goods and services jumped for a second consecutive month in April, led by a surge in food prices, the government reported Wednesday, hinting at some inflation pressures at the wholesale level.
The Labor Department said its producer price index (PPI)—which measures price changes before they reach consumers—rose 0.6 percent last month, the biggest gain since September 2012. PPI rose 0.5 percent increase in March.
The gains in the prices received by U.S. farms, factories, and refineries in the last two months suggest that inflation is accelerating from very low levels. In the past 12 months, PPI has risen 2.1 percent, the biggest 12-month gain in more than two years, and slightly above the Federal Reserve (Fed) 2-percent inflation target.
Producer prices have been volatile in recent months, driven by swings in the trade-services category.
In April, food prices surged 2.7 percent, the biggest increase since early 2011, after rising 1.1 percent in March. It was the fourth consecutive month of advancing food prices. Energy prices rose 0.1 percent last month.
Core PPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, increased 0.5 percent last month after rising 0.6 percent in March. In the 12 months ending in April, core PPI rose 1.9 percent after a 1.4 percent gain the previous month.