U.S. wholesale prices rose a mild 0.2% in February, the latest sign that inflation has throttled back after flaring up in early 2018.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had predicted a 0.1% increase last month following a sharp 0.4% advance in January.
The 12-month rate of wholesale inflation edged up to 2.8%, but it’s still below a recent peak of 3.1%.
The cost of services such as lodging, passenger flights and telecommunications rose in February to account for most of the increase in PPI. The wholesale price of services rose 0.3%.
Prices of wholesale goods fell 0.1%, however. The cost of energy and food both declined.
Wholesale inflation rose a stronger 0.4% in February if the volatile categories of energy, food and trade margins are stripped out.
The cost of partially finished goods and raw materials, meanwhile, rose sharply in February. These prices have risen about 5% in the past year, suggesting that inflation has stabilized at a somewhat higher level compared to a year earlier.