Wholesale Prices Plunge 0.9% in August

WASHINGTON - Government data show wholesale inflation plunged in August by the largest amount in nearly two years, reflecting a steep drop in gasoline and other energy products.

The Labor Department reported Friday that wholesale prices fell 0.9 percent last month, nearly double the 0.5 percent decline that economists had been expecting. The price moderation followed three months in which wholesale costs had shot up at levels exceeding 1 percent a month as energy costs had surged.

Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, was also well-behaved, edging up just 0.2 percent in August, right in line with expectations, and well below the 0.7 percent spike of the previous month.