US producer prices rise 0.5 percent in March

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Associated Press

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 7:01 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 11 at 7:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The prices companies receive for their goods and services jumped in March led by gains for food, clothing, jewelry and chemicals.

The Labor Department says the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, rose 0.5 percent in March.

Overall inflation remains relatively tame. Producer prices increased 1.4 percent during the past 12 months. That's below the 2 percent target set by the Federal Reserve.

Wholesale food prices rose last month, while the costs charged for gasoline and electric power fell. Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy and retailer and wholesaler profit margins, core prices ticked up 0.3 percent.

Businesses have struggled to raise prices because of historically high levels of unemployment and meager wage growth, making it harder for consumers to pay more.

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