A rise in food and gas costs drove a measure of wholesale prices up sharply in May. But outside those volatile categories, inflation was mild.
The Labor Department said Friday that the producer price index rose 0.5 percent in May from April. Gas prices rose 1.5 percent last month, and food costs increased 0.6 percent.
The increase last month followed a 0.7 percent decline in April and a 0.6 percent drop in March, both of which were driven by steep declines in gas prices. Core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose just 0.1 percent in May. That matches the April increase.
“There really is not much inflationary pressure in the economy,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.