Wholesale prices in the United States rose more than expected in September despite Federal Reserve measures to control inflation, according to a report published on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The producer price index (PPI), a measure of the prices that businesses in the United States receive for the goods and services they produce, grew 0.4% for the month, compared to the Dow Jones forecast of a 0.2% increase. PPI increased 8.5% year on year, a modest slowdown from 8.7% in August.

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Excluding food, energy, and trade services, the index rose 0.4% month on month and 5.6% year on year, mirroring the August gain.

In early trade, stocks fluctuated between gains and losses as the September PPI came in higher than predicted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 104 points or 0.36%. The S&P 500 gained 0.21%, led by a more than 12% increase in shares of Moderna, the index’s biggest gainer. The Nasdaq Composite increased by 0.16%.

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Inflation has been the economy’s most serious problem in the last year, with the cost of living at its highest level in more than 40 years.

The Fed has countered by hiking rates five times this year for a total of three percentage points, and a fourth consecutive 0.75 percentage point increase is widely expected. The PPI is published one day before the more widely monitored consumer price index. PPI measures the prices obtained at the wholesale level, whereas CPI measures the prices paid by consumers.

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According to the BLS, a 0.4% increase in services accounted for about two-thirds of the increase in PPI. A 6.4% rise in prices received for traveller accommodation services was a significant factor in that increase.

Final demand goods prices increased 0.4% month on month, driven by a 15.7% increase in the index for fresh and dried vegetables.