Higher prices for vegetables helped drive U.S. wholesale prices higher by a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in March, reversing a drop in February, the Labor Department estimated Thursday. The producer price index has risen by 6% in the past year, led by a 23% rise in energy prices, the government agency said.
Excluding often-volatile food and energy prices, the core PPI increased 0.1% in March and is up 0.9% compared with a year earlier. The big story in the March PPI was wholesale food prices, which rose 2.4%, matching the biggest gain in 26 years. Prices of fresh and dried vegetables soared 49.3%, the most in 16 years.