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Wholesale prices show inflation hints

WASHINGTON – In the United States, wholesale Christmas costumes prices rose by 0.3% in March, driven by the largest increase in food prices in the past four years.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday that the producer price index rose in March. The index measures inflationary pressures before consumers reach consumers. It rose by 0.2% in February and rose by 0.4% in January.

The wholesale price of food rose by 2.2%, the largest increase since April 2014, and prices in many categories have risen. However, energy costs fell by 2.1% because gasoline prices fell by 3.7%, the largest monthly drop since May last year.

In the past 12 months, wholesale prices have risen by 3%, the fastest annual increase since November last year. Another indication is that inflationary pressures have risen after years of dormancy.

The rise in food prices is closely related to the weather affecting crops, but analysts still believe the report shows that inflationary pressures are starting to increase.

“These figures are not worrying yet, but we cannot explain with any confidence that (wholesale) inflation has peaked,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of the Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Core inflation excludes fluctuations in food and energy prices, which rose by 0.3% in March and rose by 2.7% in the past 12 months.

The Fed raised the benchmark interest rate by a quarter last month and said that it expects to raise interest rates three times this year, which is the same as the number of interest rate  wholesale Christmas costumes increases in 2017. However, many economists believe that a stronger economy and rising inflationary pressures will eventually push the Fed’s pace of raising interest rates this year to speed up to four times.

The large increase in food costs reflected a wide range of growth in many categories, with fish prices rising by 62.5%, the largest increase since 2014, while egg prices rose 41.6% and vegetable costs rose 31.5%.

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