) -- The price of items at the wholesale level rose well more than expected in November, boosted by soaring energy prices during the month.
The nation's Producer Price Index climbed up by a seasonally adjusted 1.8% in November after ticking higher by 0.3% in October, according to the Labor Department Tuesday morning. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the inflation measure to advance by 0.8% during the month.
Prices rose by 2.4% since November 2008, marking the first year-over-year increase since a year ago.
Core inflation in the wholesale segment, which strips out potentially volatile food and energy costs, also swelled by 0.5% in November, well more than the 0.2% increase forecast by many. Core prices slipped by 0.6% in October.
Food prices ticked higher by 0.5%, largely attributable to an 8.7% jump in costs for fresh and dry vegetables.
The price of energy goods, which accounted for about three-fourths of the jump in overall prices, jumped by 6.9% during the month following a 1.6% increase the month prior. Gasoline prices, in particular, surged by 14.2%. Liquefied petroleum gas and home heating oil were also big contributors to the increasing energy prices, according to the report.
natural gas prices soared on Tuesday after
announced plans to buy natural gas producer
in a $41 billion all-stock deal. That, in turn, led to a jump in shares for natural gas operators like
. The January delivery contract for natural gas rose by 11 cents to $5.44 per million British thermal units on Tuesday morning, as the January crude oil contract recovered from nine straight session losses to add 44 cents at $69.95 a barrel today.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York