WASHINGTON (

TheStreet

) -- Producer prices bounced back in August, according to a Labor Department report Tuesday morning, as a measure of inflation showed that wholesale prices jumped more than double what was expected.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the price of goods, at least those prices for goods that have yet to hit store shelves, shot up by 1.7% in August. A cadre of economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters thought the department's producer price index would grow by a more modest 0.8% during the month.

But an 8% surge in energy prices for the month, the largest since November 2007, boosted the final results. Gasoline prices, which made up the bulk of the energy advances, soared 23% in August, marking it's the biggest price climb since April 1999.

Wholesale food prices also went higher by 0.4% in August after dropping off by 1.5% in July, with much of the pace due to a jump in fresh fruits and melons.

Still, the overall inflation picture appears controlled. Excluding food and energy fluctuations, the Labor Department said core inflation for wholesale goods grew by a much slimmer 0.2%. Economists were expecting a 0.1% rise. Meanwhile, wholesale prices have fallen off by 4.3% since last year, while labor conditions remain a continuing problem for the economy.

All of this comes on the heels of last month's results, showing a 0.9% dip in wholesale prices, along with a 0.1% drop in core prices.

Intermediate goods ticked higher by 1.8% in August, while crude product prices grew by 3.8%.

Some of the economy's most well-known operations were tracking in positive territory just after the opening bell.

Exxon Mobil

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was flat, gaining 1 cent at $70.01.

Dell

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was changing hands at $16.57 after adding 18 cents.

Ford

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was bidding only slightly higher after adding 2 cents at $7.41.

General Electric

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shares were adding 41 cents at $15.76, while

3M

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was bidding at $74.72 after putting on 16 cents.

-- Written by Sung Moss in New York

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