May producer prices jump in the biggest annual increase in nearly 6 1/2 years

The renewed upward trend in producer prices strengthens expectations that inflation will pick up this year and likely breach the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target.

Regional factory surveys have shown an acceleration in raw material prices this year. So far, manufacturers have not passed on these higher costs to consumers. A report on Tuesday showed monthly consumer prices rising moderately in May.

The U.S. central bank’s preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy, increased 1.8 percent year-on-year in April after a similar gain in March.

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates for a second time this year on Wednesday.

In May, prices for goods surged 1.0 percent, accounting for 60 percent of the rise in the PPI. Goods prices were unchanged in April. In May, they were boosted by a 9.8 percent jump in the price of gasoline. Wholesale gasoline prices slipped 0.4 percent in April.

Wholesale food prices edged up 0.1 percent last month after declining 1.1 percent in April. Excluding foods and energy, goods prices increased 0.3 percent, rising by the same margin for a third straight month.

The cost of services increased 0.3 percent after nudging up 0.1 percent in April. Services were driven by a 0.9 percent rise in margins for trade services.

The cost of healthcare services ticked up 0.1 percent after falling 0.2 percent in April. Those costs feed into the core PCE price index.

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