Core PPI climbs to Two-Year High

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Prices at the wholesale level climbed to the highest level in two years, led by rising prices of food, energy and other commodities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Producer Price Index or PPI rose 0.8% in January after rising by a revised 0.9% and 0.7% in December and November. That was higher than the 0.7% economists were expecting.

Excluding food and energy, core PPI rose 0.5%, significantly higher than the 0.2% economists were expecting, suggesting that higher prices of commodities such as crude oil might be spilling over to other products. Till now, the rise in prices of goods excluding food and energy has been subdued.

The core rate is at its highest since October 2008 when it climbed 0.8%.

The index for energy goods climbed 1.8% led by a 6.9% jump in gasoline prices. Food prices advanced 0.3% after rising 0.98% in December.

Higher prices of pharmaceutical preparations and plastic products contributed to the rise in core PPI. Alcoholic beverages, jewelry products, sanitary paper products also rose.

The market is however more concerned with consumer price inflation which will be released on Thursday. CPI is expected to climb by 0.3% and by 0.1% at the core level.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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