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Producer prices climb 1.6 percent

March 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) -- U.S. producers paid 1.6 percent more for finished goods in February compared to January, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday.

Prices increased at twice the rate gain of a month ago.

From a year earlier, prices rose 5.6 percent. It was the eighth consecutive month prices have risen for producers.

Energy prices for the month rose 3.3 percent, while food prices rose 3.9 percent.

Core prices, which exclude both of those categories, rose 0.2 percent after rising 0.5 percent a month ago.

The figures are consistent with a general trend since the economic downturn began with core price inflation remaining low and fuel prices rising quickly.

At a speaking engagement in New York last week, William Dudley, the president of the New York Federal Reserve called the newly released iPad 2 a prime example of an inflation buster.

"Today, you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1, that's twice as powerful.," he said.

His remark was not well received, as some in the audience considered it a sign that Dudley was insensitive to rising costs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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