U.S. producer prices posted their largest increase in 1-1/2 years in April as the cost of food and trade services surged, hinting at some inflation pressures at the factory gate.
The Labor Department said on Wednesday its seasonally adjusted producer price index for final demand rose 0.6 percent, the biggest gain since September 2012. Producer prices increased 0.5 percent in March.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast prices received by the nation's farms, factories and refineries rising 0.2 percent. In the 12 months through April, producer prices advanced 2.1 percent, the biggest gain since March 2012, after rising 1.4 percent in March.
Producer prices have been volatile in recent months, driven by swings in the trade services category. The PPI series was revamped at the start of the year to include services and construction.