PPI Down 0.1%; Core Rises 0.2%

The producer price index on finished goods fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in April, the Labor Department said.
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WASHINGTON (

TheStreet

) -- Prices at the wholesale level edged lower last month suggesting inflation was kept at bay, although prices ticked higher after stripping out more volatile items, a government report said Tuesday,

The producer price index on finished goods fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in April, the Labor Department said. Analysts expected the index to rise marginally higher by 0.1%, according to estimates provided by

Briefing.com

, after posting a 0.7% climb in March.

But after removing food and energy items from the measure, which fell 0.2% and 0.8%, respectively, the so-called "core" gauge rose rose just ahead of expectations at 0.2%.

Since a year ago, producer prices rose by a non-seasonally adjusted 5.5%.

The PPI for intermediate goods, which could be interpreted as a peek ahead to inflation in the future, rose for the seventh straight month by 0.8%, according to the report. It's core gauge also jumped by 1.1%.

Separately, the Commerce Department said

housing starts in April beat estimates, though the number of new building permits plunged.

--Written by Sung Moss in New York