US producer price index falls 0.1% in January, vs 0.1% rise expected

Assembly product worker Donna Gonzalez works on a sub-assembly to a water cooled transformer at RoMan Manufacturing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, December 12, 2018.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters

U.S. wholesale prices fell for a second straight month in January as energy costs fell sharply again. The monthly declines were more evidence that inflation remains under control.

The Labor Department said Thursday that producer prices, which track changes before they reach the consumer, dipped 0.1 per cent in January, matching the 0.1 per cent December decline. In both months energy prices fell sharply, dropping 3.8 per cent last month after a decline of 4.3 per cent in December. Energy prices began falling in November with a 5.1 per cent drop.

Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices have risen just 2 per cent. That's the smallest 12-month change since July 2017. Core wholesale prices, which subtract volatile food and energy, were up 2.6 per cent over the past 12 months.