Wholesale inflation remained high last month, according to Labor Department numbers released Tuesday.

The producer price index rose by 0.5% in June, beating economists' consensus estimate of a 0.3% gain. Excluding food and energy, the so-called core PPI rose 0.2%, in line with estimates.

On the increasingly closely watched year-over-year basis, the PPI gained 4.9%, while its core components rose by 1.9%. The year-over-year core rate remains at the high end of the Federal Reserve's comfort zone of roughly 2%.

Tuesday's numbers will probably add little to the debate about the Fed's intentions with regard to future interest-rate policy. Heading into the release, fed fund futures were pricing in a 70% likelihood of another quarter-point hike when the Fed next meets Aug. 8.

More pertinent evidence will come Wednesday when the government releases its most closely watched inflation gauge, the consumer price index. Tomorrow will also see Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's semiannual address to Congress.

Stock futures eased following the PPI. The S&P 500 went from roughly even with fair value to about a point below.