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PPI Shows Tepid Increase in U.S. Wholesale Inflation at the End of 2019

The wholesale cost of goods and services barely advanced in December, suggesting there was little inflationary pressure building up at the end of 2019. The producer price index edged up 0.1% last month. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.2% rise. Wholesale inflation increased just 1.3% in 2019—half as much as it did in 2018.

The cost of goods rose 0.3% in December, with most of the increase linked to higher prices for gasoline. Energy prices increased 3.3% in 2019 but are still fairly low overall. Core PPI, which strips put food and energy, ticked up 0.1% last month. The 12-month core rate rose to 1.5% from 1.3%, but it’s much lower now that it was a year ago.