U.S. Producer Prices Strengthens in September

U.S. Producer Prices Strengthens in September

U.S. producer inflation increased in September as gasoline prices notched its biggest increase over two years amid hurricane-linked production issues at Texas oil refineries.

At an annual rate, the PPI jumped 2.6 percent, the biggest jump since February 2012 and came after a 2.4 percent rise in August. The rise is driven by the strong increase in wholesale gasoline prices, which jumped 10.9 percent in September

According to the Labor Department, the higher energy prices most likely resulted from the reduced refining capacity in refineries in the Gulf Coast area that was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The increase in gasoline prices due to the storm is seen to be only temporary as a supply glut persists in the markets.

The producer price index for final demand rose 0.4 percent, the Labor Department reported, also lifted by the rise in services. Wholesale prices in August rose 0.2 percent.

Other data released by the government agency showed filings for unemployment benefits declined to a more than one-month low in the previous week as the boost to the applications in Texas and Florida due to Hurricane Harvey and Irma continued to decline.

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