Producer Prices Up 0.3%, Core Prices Up 0.4%

Washington, DC, February 17, 2006--The producer price index increased 0.3% in January, while core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 0.4%, the biggest gain in a year, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists were expecting 0.2% gains in both the headline PPI and in the core PPI. The PPI increased a revised 0.6% in December and core prices rose 0.1%. In January, for once, energy prices had little to do with movement in the PPI. Overall, energy prices were unchanged. Residential electric power prices rose a record 3%, but were offset by a 3.5% drop in wholesale gasoline prices. In the past year, the PPI has risen 5.7%, while core prices are up 1.5%. Auto prices rose 1.1% and truck prices gained 0.7%, after dropping in November and December.