A key measure of inflation increased faster than expected in September, raising concerns that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes are having limited impact in bringing inflation under control.
The US Producer Price Index, which tracks what America’s producers get paid for their goods and services, rose at an annual pace of 8.5% in September, down slightly from the 8.7% rise in August, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. But the report showed prices rose 0.4% month-over-month.
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had been expecting the 12-month rise in wholesale prices to slow to an 8.4% increase, and the month-to-month increase to come in at 0.2%, compared to the 0.1% decline in August.
Economists expressed disappointment in the report and what it said about efforts to bring rising prices under control.
“The trajectory of downward-trending inflation data is starting to feel like wishful thinking, as the data has been coming in choppy at best,” said Yung-Yu Ma, chief investment strategist at BMO Wealth Management.
The report gauges prices paid for goods and services before they reach consumers. It is getting particular attention from economists and investors this month because it is being released one day before — instead of after — the Consumer Price Index, the most closely watched inflation report, which measures retail prices.