FILE - This Aug. 6, 2019, file photo shows Dominion Energy's Scott Solar farm in Powhatan, Va. On Friday, Aug. 9, the Labor Department reports on U.S. producer price inflation in July. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

US wholesale prices rise just 0.2% in July

August 09, 2019 - 8:34 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices ticked up just 0.2% in July, the latest sign that inflationary pressures are largely in check.

The Labor Department said Friday that the producer price index — which measures price changes before they reach the consumer — increased 1.7% last month compared with a year ago, the same as June. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, wholesale prices fell 0.1% in July and rose 2.1% from a year earlier.

Inflation is muted, even as the economy has entered its 11th year of expansion and the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.7%, near a five-decade low. Yet wages are rising only modestly and many businesses are reluctant to raise prices.

The Federal Reserve cited low inflation as a key reason it cut short-term interest rates last month.

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