Wholesale prices increased 1.4% in May, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This rise followed a 0.2% advance in April and a 1.1% increase in March.
At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by producers of intermediate goods rose 2.9% following a 0.9% advance a month earlier, and the crude goods index increased 6.7% after climbing 3.2% in April.
In May, the index for finished energy goods turned up 4.9% after falling 0.2% a month earlier. Prices for finished consumer foods increased 0.8% following no change in April. By contrast, partially offsetting the acceleration in the finished goods index, the rise in the index for finished goods less foods and energy -core inflation -slowed to 0.2% from 0.4% in the previous month.
Before seasonal adjustment, the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods increased 1.6% in May to 179.6 (1982 = 100). From May 2007 to May 2008, finished goods prices advanced 7.2%. Over the same period, the finished energy goods index rose 19.7%, prices for finished goods less foods and energy increased 3.0%, and the index for finished consumer foods climbed 6.5%. For the 12 months ended May 2008, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods advanced 12.6%, and the crude goods index jumped 41.5%.