KEY POINTS
  • The producer price index fell 0.1% for February, below the estimate for a 0.3% increase.
  • Retail sales declined 0.4% for the month, in line with expectations and pulled lower by drops in auto sales as well as bar and restaurant receipts.
  • Finally, the Empire State Manufacturing survey for March, a gauge of activity in the New York region, posted a -24.6 reading, down 19 points from a month ago.
A customer looks over merchandise at a store on March 14, 2023 in Miami, Florida.

Wholesale prices posted an unexpected decline in February, providing some encouraging news on inflation as the Federal Reserve weighs its next move on interest rates.

The producer price index fell 0.1% for the month, against the Dow Jones estimate for a 0.3% increase and compared with a 0.3% gain in January, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. On a 12-month basis, the index increased 4.6%, well below the downwardly revised 5.7% level from the previous month.