Wholesale prices unchanged in November as energy prices cool

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. wholesale prices were unchanged in November as the rise in energy costs slowed following a big gain in the previous month.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the flat reading in November on its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, followed a sizable 0.4% increase in October which had been driven by a surge in energy costs.

Energy costs in November were up 0.6% after a much bigger 2.8% jump in October. Food costs rose 1.1 percent, the second month of sizable increases, with the November gain led by an 80.5% jump in egg prices, the biggest increase in more than four years.

Core wholesale inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food costs, actually fell 0.2% in November. Over the past year, wholesale prices are up 1.1% while core prices have risen 1.3%, two modest gains indicating that inflation remains well under control.