WASHINGTON (AP) — Prices at the wholesale level rose 8% in October from 12 months earlier, the fourth straight decline and the latest sign that inflation pressures in the United States are easing from painfully high levels.
On a monthly basis, the government said Tuesday that its producer price index, which measures costs before they reach consumers, rose 0.2% from September to October. That was the same as in the previous month, which was revised down from an initial reading of 0.4%.
The report follows last week’s report on the better-known consumer price index, which showed that year-over-year inflation cooled to a slower-than-expected 7.7% in October, down from 8.2% in September, to the lowest such figure since January. And excluding volatile food and energy costs, that report also said that core prices rose just 0.3% in October from the previous month, half the increase of the previous two months.
Those consumer inflation figures sent stock markets soaring because they suggested that the devastating price spikes of the past 18 months might finally be moderating. The cost of used cars, clothing and furniture fell, a sign that goods prices are reversing their big price leaps of last year, when supply chain blockages sent inflation soaring.
In recent months, delays at major ports have been cleared, the price of ocean shipping has tumbled and more stores are building larger stockpiles. All those trends suggest that goods prices could continue to decline.