US wholesale prices rise 0.4% in May led by food and energy

U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.4% in May, led by a gains in the cost of food and energy

WASHINGTON —
U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.4% in May, led by a gains in the cost of food and energy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that its Producer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, showed an increase after three straight months of declines. Those declines had reflected in part the steep drop in demand caused by government-ordered shutdowns to deal with the coronavirus.

The cost of food rose a sharp 6%. Food costs have been rising due to high demand from Americans cooking more at home, but also because of lost production following virus outbreaks at food processing facilities. Energy prices, which had fallen for three straight months, increased 4.5%.

Over the past year, wholesale prices have fallen 0.8%.

The report on wholesale prices followed news Wednesday that consumer prices at the retail level fell 0.1% in May, the third straight monthly decline.