Wholesale Costs Fall For Third Month On Cheap Gas

The Associated Press

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U.S. wholesale prices dropped in November for the third consecutive month, pushed down again by cheaper gasoline and lower home heating oil costs. But excluding volatile energy costs, inflation was mostly stable.

The producer price index, which measures prices before they reach the consumer, declined 0.1 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday. This comes after similar decreases in October and September.

Overall wholesale prices have risen just 0.7 percent in the past 12 months.

Excluding energy and food prices, so-called core wholesale prices increased 0.1 percent in November and 1.3 percent over the past 12 months.

"If you are worried about upside inflation risks, you need to look elsewhere," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Both consumer and wholesale inflation have been running extremely low in the past year. High unemployment and weak wage increases have made it difficult for businesses to raise prices.

Mild inflation has allowed the Federal Reserve more latitude to use its policies to try and stimulate growth. And some Fed officials have raised concerns that inflation is running too low.

Energy costs have kept inflation well below the Fed's 2 percent target. In November, gas costs tumbled 0.7 percent and home heating oil prices plunged 5.7 percent. The costs for new cars also fell 0.8 percent last month.

GM said earlier that the alliance with PSA will continue and will focus on jointly developing vehicles, joint manufacturing, purchasing and logistics.

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