U.S. wholesale prices down 0.4 percent in June

15:55, July 15, 2011      

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U.S. wholesale prices dropped0.4 percent in June after 11 consecutive monthly gains, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

In June, the growth of the Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures price changes before they reach consumers, was mainly boosted by a drop in energy prices.

The PPI index increased 0.8 percent in April and rose 0.2 percent in May, the Labor Department said.

Last month, energy prices shed 2.8 percent, the biggest decline in nearly two years. Food costs rose 0.6 percent in May, after edging down 1.4 percent in May.

Over the past 12 months ending June, wholesale prices advanced 7 percent.

Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, the so called"core" wholesale prices edged up 0.3 percent in June.

Rapid rises in gas and food prices earlier this year raised fears that inflation could get out of hand. The index has risen 7 percent in the past twelve months, down from an annual increase of7.3 percent in May.

But as gas and food prices ease, the threat of higher inflation appears to be receding.

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