NATIONAL NEWS

US wholesale price data for April points to easing inflation pressures

May 11, 2023, 5:39 AM

File - Stacey Richard checks sides of beef hanging in the refrigerated butchering section at the Wr...

File - Stacey Richard checks sides of beef hanging in the refrigerated butchering section at the Wright's Meat Packing facility on Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Fombell, Pa. On Thursday, the Labor Department releases the producer price index for April, an indicator of inflation at the wholesale level that's closely monitored by the Federal Reserve. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices in the United States decelerated last month, the latest sign that inflationary pressures may be easing more than a year after the Federal Reserve unleashed an aggressive campaign of steadily higher interest rates.

From March to April, the government’s producer price index rose 0.2% after falling 0.4% from February to March. Compared with a year earlier, wholesale prices rose just 2.3% last month.

The index that the Labor Department issued Thursday reflects prices charged by manufacturers, farmers and wholesalers. It can provide an early sign of how fast consumer inflation will rise.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core wholesale inflation rose 0.2% from March and 3.2% from 12 months earlier. The Fed pays particularly close attention to core prices, which tend to be a better gauge of the economy’s underlying inflation pressures.

Thursday’s figures follow a government report Wednesday that showed that at the consumer level, core prices rose 0.4% from March to April — the fifth straight month that those prices have risen at least that much, well above the pace needed to meet the Fed’s 2% annual inflation target.

On a year-over-year basis, overall consumer inflation, at 4.9%, has dropped significantly since peaking at 9.1% in June 2022 yet remains well above the Fed’s target level. Economic growth slowed to a tepid 1.1% annual rate from January through March.

The Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate 10 times in 14 months. The central bank’s policymakers want to slow the U.S. economy — the world’s biggest — just enough to control price increases without causing a recession. But many economists are skeptical and expect the United States to slip into a recession later this year.

National News

Associated Press

Man accused of holding girlfriend captive in Minnesota college dorm room reaches plea deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A man who was accused of holding his girlfriend captive in her dorm room at a Minnesota college for three days while raping, beating and waterboarding her has reached a plea deal that calls for a sentence of up to 7 1/2 years. Keanu Avery Labatte, 20, of Granite Falls, […]

35 minutes ago

FILE - Voters depart an election center during primary voting, May 21, 2024, in Kennesaw, Ga. Conse...

Associated Press

Conservative groups are pushing to clean voter rolls. Others see an effort to sow election distrust

Conservative groups are systematically attempting to challenge the legitimacy of large numbers of voter registrations across the country before the presidential election. The strategy is part of a wider effort raising questions about the integrity of this year’s election as former President Donald Trump repeatedly claims without evidence that his opponents are trying to cheat. […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference May 31, 2024, in New York. Fac...

Associated Press

The Latest: Republicans gear up for their convention as Dems struggle over Biden as nominee

Republicans are gearing up for their convention next week while Democrats are still struggling with whether President Joe Biden should stay on as their candidate in the November election. In a sign of how important Pennsylvania is for both parties, Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Donald Trump and first lady Jill Biden are all […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Garvey points to his supporters as he walks on the st...

Associated Press

Steve Garvey visited Israel, but will it win over California voters in Senate race against Schiff?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Looking to boost his longshot bid for one of California’s U.S. Senate seats, Republican Steve Garvey traveled to Israel last month searching for room to run against U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff — a Jewish Democrat known for his support of America’s key ally in the Middle East. It’s common for politicians […]

2 hours ago

Actor Alec Baldwin reacts during his trial for involuntary manslaughter for the 2021 fatal shooting...

Associated Press

Case dismissed against Alec Baldwin in fatal shooting of cinematographer

A nearly three-year legal saga for Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer ended Friday with the actor cleared of wrongdoing.

4 hours ago

FILE - Leaders take their seats for a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council during the NATO summit in...

Associated Press

With words, deeds and arms deals, allies make the case for NATO in terms that would appeal to Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — European allies in NATO are stepping up their military spending, just as Donald Trump wanted. They’re pointing to common interests, such as concerns over China. They’re creating American jobs by buying U.S. weapons. In words, deeds and arms deals, leaders of the United States’ partners in NATO are making the case for […]

4 hours ago

US wholesale price data for April points to easing inflation pressures