WASHINGTON -- The Labor Department reported that wholesale prices for foods in May rose 0.5% -- the largest one month increase since January.
Compared with year-ago levels, wholesale food prices increased 1.4% as measured by the Producer Price Index.
Producer prices for dairy products rose 1.3%, following a 7.1% decline in April. The indexes for pork, processed young chickens, unprocessed shellfish and eggs for fresh use also increased, after decreasing in April. Pork was up 8.3% and processed young chickens were up 2.5%. Unprocessed shellfish prices rose 2.0%, while eggs for fresh use increased 0.9%.
Prices for fresh vegetables fell 22.9%, following a 23% increase in April.
For all finished goods, May wholesale prices rose 0.2% against April. But without volatile food and energy prices, the PPI was up only 0.1%. Against 1998, it rose 1.4%.
"This month's increase-and the modest increases over the year-suggest that inflation remains in check," Labor Secretary Alexis Herman said in a statement. "Our economy continues to perform superbly and our prosperity remains widely-shared."