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U.S. producer prices accelerate in August on gasoline

(Reuters) - U.S. producer prices increased by the most in more than a year in August as the cost of gasoline surged, the latest indication that the road to low inflation would be uneven.

The producer price index for final demand rose 0.7% last month, the largest gain since June 2022, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for July was revised slightly up to show the PPI advancing 0.4% instead of the previously reported 0.3%.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the PPI to increase 0.4%. In the 12 months through August, the PPI gained 1.6% after climbing 0.8% in July.

The report followed news on Wednesday that consumer prices increased by the most in 14 months in August on higher gasoline prices.

Wholesale goods prices jumped 2.0% last month, with a 20.0% surge in gasoline accounting for 60% of the increase. Goods prices rose 0.3% in July. Food prices fell 0.5% last month. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the so-called core goods prices nudged up 0.1% after being unchanged in July.

The cost of services increased 0.2% after rising 0.5% in July. They were lifted by a 1.1% increase in residential real estate services. The cost of moving goods by road increased as did machinery, equipment, parts and supplies wholesaling. There were also increases in the costs securities brokerage and dealing as well as residential real estate loans.

But margins for chemicals and allied products wholesaling fell 4.7 percent.

The narrower measure of PPI, which strips out food, energy and trade services components, rose 0.3% after a similar gain in July. In the 12 months through August, the so-called core PPI increased 3.0% after rising 2.9% in July.

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