US wholesale prices drop record 1.3% in April

Wholesale pries fell a record 1.3% in April with the decline led by a 19% fall in energy costs

WASHINGTON —
Wholesale prices slid a record 1.3% in April, led by a 19% plunge in the cost for energy.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that its producer price index, which measures inflation before it reaches the consumer, fell by the largest amount on records going back to 2009 as the disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic rattle the U.S. and global economy.

While falling energy prices have accelerated, it was the third consecutive month of declines, illustrating that the global economy was already slowing before the arrival of the coronavirus, but the outbreak exacerbated the trend.

Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices are down 1.2%, a further indication that inflation pressures are remaining dormant.

The report on wholesale prices followed a report Tuesday that consumer prices declined 0.8% in April, the steepest month-to-month fall since the 2008 financial crisis.