US producer prices fall more than expected in December

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US producer prices fell more than expected in December as declining food and energy costs offered further evidence that inflation is cooling in the country.

The producer price index for final demand fell 0.5% last month, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. November data was revised down to show a 0.2% gain instead of a 0.3% increase as previously reported.

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In the 12 months through December, the indicator increased by 6.2%, after rising 7.3% in November. Economists polled by Reuters had estimated that producer prices would fall 0.1% on the month and rise 6.8% year-on-year.

The reading came after monthly consumer prices fell for the first time in more than two and a half years in December, according to data released last week. Inflation is easing in the US as the fastest cycle of rising interest rates since the 1980s cools demand for goods. That could allow the country’s central bank to further ease the pace of its monetary tightening next month.

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The decline in the indicator was influenced by a 1.6% decline in commodity prices, which rose 0.1% in November. The reversal was driven by a 7.9% decline in energy and a 1.2% drop in food prices.

Services prices rose 0.1%, after rising 0.2% in November.

Excluding the volatile components of food, energy and commercial services, producer prices rose by 0.1% in December, after advancing by 0.3% in November.

In the 12 months through December, core producer prices rose 4.6%, following a 4.9% rise in the previous month.

Source: CNN Brasil

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