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U.S. Producer Prices Rise More Than Expected in March

- U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in March, but a slowdown in the annualized figures for the core readings, that exclude more volatile food and energy costs, underlined the case for the Federal Reserve to maintain their current expectations not to tighten policy in 2019.

The Labor Department said its producer price index (PPI) increased 0.3% last month, while the core PPI, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.6%.

In the 12 months through February, the growth was 2.2% and 2.4%, respectively.

The Fed watches this data because higher costs for producers often lead to them passing that cost on to consumers, placing upward pressure on inflation.

However, the annualized reading for core PPI slowed from February’s reading of 2.5%, mirroring a similar move seen in consumer prices in data released on Wednesday.

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