Inflationary pressures continue to ease, producer prices fall by 0.3%

WASHINGTON (AP) – Wholesale prices in the United States fell 0.3% from April to May, another sign that inflationary pressures continue to ease in the face of repeated interest rate hikes by the Reserve. federal.

The Labor Department’s producer price index — which measures inflation before it hits consumers — rose 1.1% last month from May 2022, he said. Wednesday, the smallest year-over-year gain since December 2020.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core wholesale inflation rose 0.2% from last April and 2.8% from a year earlier.

Triggered by a surprisingly strong economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession in 2020, inflation began to rise in 2021 and last year reached levels not seen since the early 1980s. In response, the Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate 10 times in the past 15 months. At their Wednesday meeting, Fed policymakers are expected to leave the rate alone to give themselves time to assess the impact the aggressive rate hikes have had on the economy.

Inflation has come down. Year-over-year increases in producer prices peaked at 11.7% in March 2022 and have fallen for 11 consecutive months.

On Tuesday, the Labor Department said its consumer price index rose just 0.1% last month from April and 4% from May 2022 — the lowest figure in 12 months in two years and down from a 4.9% increase in April.

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