The producer price index fell 0.1% in January largely because of lower energy prices, the latest evidence of waning inflation.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 0.1% gain. The increase in wholesale inflation over the past year slowed to 2% from 2.5%. Wholesale prices rose in January for services and warehousing, but another decline in gasoline mostly offset those increases. Gas prices slumped 7.3%.
Wholefood costs fell 1.7%. Excluding food and energy, the so-called core PPI rate rose 0.2% last month. The yearly rate of increase in core prices tapered to 2.5% from 2.8%.