WASHINGTON — Increases in the cost of food, clothing, jewelry and chemicals pushed the prices companies receive for their goods and services higher in March, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.
The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, rose 0.5 percent in March, according to the department. While overall inflation remains relatively tame, producer prices have increased 1.4 percent during the past 12 months.
Wholesale food prices rose last month, led by a 30.4 percent leap in the costs of hogs and 12.4 percent increase in poultry. Those increases were partially offset by a 2.4 percent decline in gasoline prices and a 0.7 percent drop for electric power. Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy and retailer and wholesaler profit margins, core prices ticked up 0.3 percent.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.