US wholesale prices rise just 0.2% in July

Friday, August 9, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 32

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices ticked up just 0.2% in July, the latest sign that inflationary pressures are largely in check.

The Labor Department said Friday that the producer price index — which measures price changes before they reach the consumer — increased 1.7% last month compared with a year ago, the same as June. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, wholesale prices fell 0.1% in July and rose 2.1% from a year earlier.

Inflation is muted, even as the economy has entered its 11th year of expansion and the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.7%, near a five-decade low. Yet wages are rising only modestly and many businesses are reluctant to raise prices.

The Federal Reserve cited low inflation as a key reason it cut short-term interest rates last month.