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U.S. producer prices climb, pushed by fuel costs

WASHINGTON, June 14 (UPI) — The U.S. Producer Price Index for finished goods rose in May for the first time in three months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Prices climbed 0.5 percent, due largely to rising prices for gasoline, after dropping 0.6 percent in March and 0.7 percent in April.

For finished energy items prices were up 1.3 percent in May after dropping 3.4 percent and 2.5 percent in March and April, respectively.

For finished food items, prices rose 0.6 percent after dropping 0.8 percent in the previous month.

Economists had expected the producer price index for all items would climb 0.1 percent.

Core prices, which exclude food and energy, were higher, up 0.1 percent. For the past 12 months, core prices have gained in 10 months and broken even in two. In July 2012, core prices rose 0.5 percent. In no other month of the past year has the change exceeded 0.2 percent.

The average monthly gain in core prices over the year has been under 1.5 percent.

Prices producers received for intermediate goods dropped 0.2 percent from May 2012.

For crude goods, prices rose 7.6 from May 2012 on an unadjusted basis.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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