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TheStreet Open House

Wholesale Inflation Up 0.7% in March

WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- Prices at the wholesale level rebounded and climbed higher in March led by a surge in food costs after shrinking in February, the government said Thursday.

The Labor Department said the nation's producer price index, which measures inflation on finished goods around the country, jumped by a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in March. The climb just surpassed consensus forecasts calling for a 0.5% rise, according to Briefing.com.

Last month's inflation total followed a 0.6% decline in February and a 1.4% march higher in January.

But after gutting out potentially mercurial food and energy prices, the nation's so-called "core" PPI rose by a more tepid 0.1%, which landed right in line with expectations.

The cost of food goods alone rose by 2.4% in March, which accounted for over 70% of the overall rise in prices. The government notes that the surge in food prices was mainly tied to a steep rise in fresh and dry vegetable costs, which increased 49.3% during the month.

Energy prices rose 0.7% after declining by 2.9% the month before, as gasoline costs climbed up by 2.1% in March.

The report also showed prices rose a non-seasonally adjusted 6% over the past year, which the government notes is the largest year-over-year climb since September 2008.

Before reaching the end-stage, the Labor Department also reported that prices taken in by manufacturers on intermediate goods increased by 0.6% last month.

-- Written by Sung Moss in New York

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