US Wholesale Prices Surge in January; Jobless Claims Drop Unexpectedly

Wholesale prices in the United States picked up more than expected in January, according to Labor Department data released on Thursday. This was driven by an increase in the price of both products and gasoline.

The producer price index (PPI) is an inflation indicator that is based on changes in wholesale prices.

The latest reading on inflation has again exceeded forecasts this week. The widely watched consumer price index reported by the Labor Department on Tuesday showed a 0.5% monthly increase. This is higher than the widely held prediction of 0.4%.

Although some parts of the economy have shown resilience, policymakers are looking for indicators that inflation is coming down in the long run.

The Labor Department also released initial claims for unemployment benefits, which showed a surprise decrease.

The Labor Department said Thursday that unemployment claims fell by 1,000 to 194,000 in the week ending February 11. The Dow Jones survey of economists predicted that the number of initial claims for jobless benefits would be 200,000.

Despite the Federal Reserve’s run of interest rate hikes, the labor market has remained resilient.