) -- 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
, 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