WASHINGTON — Companies paid more for gas and food in September to drive wholesale prices up by the most in five months. Outside those volatile categories, inflation was modest.
The Labor Department says the Producer Price Index jumped 0.8 percent in September. Excluding food and energy, the core index increased 0.2 percent.
Wholesale energy prices jumped 2.3 percent, the most since March. That followed three months of declines. Gas prices dropped toward the end of September, though too late to affect that month’s data, according to economists at IHS Global Insight.
Higher prices for pickup trucks, meanwhile, accounted for one-third of the increase in the core index.
Wholesale food prices rose 0.6 percent.
Slower growth in the U.S. and overseas has eased inflation fears in recent months.