U.S. producer prices unexpectedly rose in January as margins for wholesale machinery and equipment increased, but lower energy prices and a strong dollar continue to keep inflation in check.
The Labor Department said on Wednesday its producer price index edged up 0.1 percent after slipping 0.2 percent in December. In the 12 months through January, the PPI decreased 0.2 percent after declining 1.0 percent in December.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the PPI dropping 0.2 percent last month and falling 0.6 percent from a year ago.
The index for final demand services increased 0.5 percent in January, increasing for a third straight month. A 4.0 percent jump in margins for machinery and equipment accounted for nearly half of the increase in prices for services last month.