U.S. Wholesale Prices for June Point to Easing of Inflation Pressures

The government’s producer price index — which measures inflation before it reaches consumers — rose just 0.1% last month from June 2022, the smallest such increase since August 2020. And from May to June, prices rose an identical 0.1% after having fallen 0.4% from April to May.

The index that the Labor Department issued Thursday reflects prices charged by manufacturers, farmers and wholesalers.

Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, noted that wholesale price increases are already coming in below the 2% year-over-year inflation rate that the Fed wants to see.

“On the consumer side,’’ she cautioned in a research note,“ progress has been slower,” though she expects consumer prices to decelerate further this year and into 2024.

Farooqi said she didn’t expect the June inflation numbers to “to change the outcome of the upcoming (Fed) meeting’’ at which she, like most economists, expects a quarter-point hike in the central bank’s benchmark rate. That rate affects many consumer and business loans throughout the economy.