Three measures of price pressures for American businesses showed they’re facing higher production costs, adding to evidence that inflation is creeping up in the US economy.
The Empire State Manufacturing prices-paid index increased 12.4 points to 48.6 in February, the highest level since 2012, according to the survey published Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A separate index from the Philadelphia Fed showed prices paid in that region also surging in February, reaching the highest since May 2011.
The latest figures follow consumer-inflation numbers that helped send yields on 10-year Treasuries to a four-year high this week, after wage data roiled markets earlier this month on concerns that the Federal Reserve will raise borrowing costs more aggressively.
“Input price increases picked up noticeably,” according to the New York Fed report. “The index for future prices paid stayed close to last month’s multi-year high.” In Washington, the Labor Department said in a report that US wholesale prices rose in January on costs of energy and hospital services. The producer-price index increased 0.4 per cent from the prior month, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, after no change the prior month, the report said.
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The PPI excluding food, energy, and trade services, a measure some economists prefer because it strips out the most volatile components, rose 2.5 per cent in January from a year earlier — the fastest in data back to August 2014 — following a 2.3 per cent gain.