WASHINGTON (AP) — Falling gasoline costs lowered the prices that U.S. companies received for their goods and services last month, keeping overall inflation in check.
The Labor Department says the producer price index rose 0.1 percent in July, following a 0.4 percent gain in June. The index measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer.
Wholesale gas prices fell 2.1 percent, after jumping 6.4 percent in June. The cost of pharmaceuticals, pickup trucks and rail and truck shipping services rose, while the cost of vegetables, jewelry and natural gas fell.
Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy and retailer and wholesaler profit margins, prices moved up 0.2 percent.
In the past year, producer prices have risen just 1.7 percent, slightly below the Federal Reserve's target.