US wholesale prices rose in January, in a sign that inflation is starting to hit the economy.
Oil prices showed the biggest increase, but core inflation – which strips out factors such as oil and food – rose 0.4%, the largest increase since a 0.5% rise in April 2017.
The 12-month rate of wholesale inflation rose to 2.7%, while the annual core inflation rate rose to a four-year high of 2.5%, according to figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The January index rise was attributed to a 0.3% increase in prices for services and a 0.7% increase for goods.
Nearly half the increase for goods sold by wholesalers was attributable to prices for petrol, which climbed 7.1%. The figures for residential electric power, iron and steel scrap, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and fresh and dry vegetables also moved higher.
A major factor in the January increase in prices for services was hospital outpatient care, which rose 1.0%.
The indexes for apparel, footwear, and accessories retailing; health, beauty, and optical goods retailing; residential real estate services; long-distance motor carrying; and hospital inpatient care also moved higher. In contrast, margins for chemicals and allied products wholesaling declined 2.3%.