WASHINGTON (AP) - Inflation at the wholesale level slowed in May after two big months of increases, even though gasoline prices and inflation pressures outside of energy and food continued to climb.
The Labor Department reported that its Producer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, was up just 0.2 percent last month, even better than the 0.4 percent rise that many economists had been expecting. The improvement reflected the fact that energy prices rose by just 0.4 percent after a 4 percent jump in April, and food prices actually fell by 0.5 percent.
However, the core rate of inflation, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.3 percent in May, compared to more modest gains of 0.1 percent in both March and April. That was slightly higher than the 0.2 percent increase analysts had been expecting.