U.S. Producer Prices Unchanged In November, Annual Growth Slows To 0.9%

Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement later in the afternoon, the Labor Department released a report Wednesday morning showing producer prices in the U.S. unexpectedly came in flat during the month of November.

The report said the producer price index for final demand was unchanged in November after falling by a revised 0.4 percent in October.

Economists had expected producer prices to inch up by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.5 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

The Labor Department also said the annual rate of producer price growth slowed to 0.9 percent in November from 1.2 percent in October. Year-over-year growth was expected to slow to 1.0 percent.

The unchanged reading for the month came as prices for both goods and services also came in flat during November.

Prices for goods came in unchanged in November after tumbling by 1.4 percent in October, as a 1.2 percent slump in energy prices was partly offset by a 0.6 percent increase in food prices.

The report said prices for chicken eggs skyrocketed by 58.8 percent, while prices fresh fruits and melons, utility natural gas, electric power, and carbon steel scrap also moved higher.

Meanwhile, prices for gasoline plunged by 4.1 percent, moving lower along with prices for processed poultry, industrial chemicals, jet fuel, and liquefied petroleum gas.

The Labor Department also said the index for final demand services came in unchanged for the second consecutive month.

While prices for trade services and transportation and warehousing services fell by 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, prices for other services inched up by 0.1 percent.

Core producer prices, which exclude prices for food, energy and trade services, crept up by the 0.1 percent for the second straight month.

The annual rate of growth by core producer prices slowed to 2.5 percent in November from 2.8 percent in October.

On Tuesday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing consumer prices in the U.S. inched up in line with economist estimates in the month of November.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index crept up by 0.1 percent in November after coming in unchanged in October. The uptick matched expectations.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices rose by 0.3 percent in November after edging up by 0.2 percent in October. The increase in core prices also came in line with estimates.

The report also said the annual rate of consumer price growth slipped to 3.1 percent in November from 3.2 percent in October, while the annual rate of core consumer price growth was unchanged at 4.0 percent.

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