WHOLESALE PRICES UP: Wholesale prices rose 1.1 percent in in September, its second consecutive big gain on sharp rises in gasoline costs. But outside of the surge in energy, prices were well contained.
THE BACKGROUND: The latest rise reported Friday by the Labor Department followed a 1.7 percent gain in August which had been the largest one-month increase in more than three years. In both months, overall prices were pushed higher by gasoline, which rose 9.8 percent in September following an even larger 13.6 percent gain in August.
THE OUTLOOK: Core prices, which exclude food and energy, were unchanged in September, the best showing since they held steady in October 2011. Core inflation is up 2.3 percent over the past 12 months. The government's producer price index measures cost pressures before they reach consumers.
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