Core prices, which exclude food and energy items, jumped 0.3 percent in the month, a higher gain than the 0.1 percent rise economists predicted. For prices overall, prices dropped 0.1 percent. Economists had predicted a rise of 0.1 percent for producer prices overall.
Food prices and energy prices each fell 0.8 percent in the month.
On an annual basis, prices received by producers were up 4.8 percent in December, down from 5.7 percent in November. By comparison, price inflation on a 12-month basis held above 6 percent from April through September and came in above 5 percent for 10 of the past 12 months.