U.S. producer prices were unchanged in August, the government reported Tuesday, pointing to tame inflation pressures.
The Labor Department said its producer price index (PPI)â€”which measures price changes before they reach the consumerâ€”was flat last month as gasoline and food costs fell. The PPI rose 0.1 percent in July.
Gasoline prices fell 1.4 percent in August, following a 2.1 percent decline the previous month. Food prices fell 0.5 percent after rising 0.4 percent in July. Prices received for services increased 0.3 percent after rising 0.1 percent in July.
Excluding volatile energy and food, PPI rose 0.1 percent last month, slowing from a 0.2 percent increase in July.
In the 12 months ending in August, PPI increased 1.8 percent, below the Federal Reserve (Fed) target of 2 percent. Core PPI, which excludes energy and food, also has risen 1.8 percent over the past 12 months.
The tame producer-prices report implies the Fed could wait longer before lifting its key interest rate from historic lows near zero percent, where it has been since late 2008. Central-bank policymakers begin a two-day meeting Tuesday.