October Wholesale Prices Plunge Record 2.8%

Daren Barnard, 10, right, pushes a shopping cart full of groceries and other items as he walks with cousins Kiya Barnard , 7, and Chenwrah Barnard, 8, left, outside a Wal-Mart superstore in Turnersville, N.J. Tuesday, March 11, 2008. With prices at the pump rising and worries about jobs increasing, shoppers bought basics at discounters and wholesale clubs and snubbed mall-based chains' clothing, jewelry and furniture. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

WASHINGTON – Wholesale prices plunged a record amount in October as energy prices fell by the largest amount in 22 years.

The Labor Department says wholesale prices dropped by 2.8 percent in October, the biggest one-month decline on records that go back more than 60 years. The previous record holder was a 1.6 percent fall in October 2001, the month after the terrorist attacks.

The overall decline in the department's Producer Price Index was bigger than the 1.8 percent drop analysts had expected. However, core inflation, which excludes energy and food, was not as well-behaved, rising by a bigger-than-expected 0.4 percent.