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Producer price index increases in February, fueled by gasoline prices

The price for a gallon of gasoline surpasses $5 per gallon at a Manhattan gas station in New York City on March 7. The producer price index increased in February, sparked by gasoline prices. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/13438cd98b1510219ae7bf1e50d32cd3/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The price for a gallon of gasoline surpasses $5 per gallon at a Manhattan gas station in New York City on March 7. The producer price index increased in February, sparked by gasoline prices. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

March 15 (UPI) -- Fueled by soaring gasoline prices, the producer price index, the gauge of supply conditions, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in February, down from January and still double what the index was in December, according to the Labor Department.

The final price demand rose 1.2% in January, leaping from the 0.4% in December, the report said. The index, minus the volatile food, energy and trade prices

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The index is up 10% over the past 12 months, remaining steady from January.

"In February, the advance in the index for final demand can be attributed to prices for final demand goods, which rose 2.4%," the report said. "For the 12 months ended in February, the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade services moved up 6.6%."

The report said 40% of February's increase was driven by the gasoline index, which jumped 14.8%. The prices for diesel fuel, electric power, jet fuel, motor vehicles and equipment and dairy products also leaped.

On the other end, prices for fresh and dry vegetables decreased by 9.4%. Prices for beef and veal and for hot rolled steel sheets dropped as well.

Among the product detail, prices for truck transportation of freight increased 2% while the indexes for food and alcohol retailing, machinery and vehicle wholesaling, transportation of passengers and outpatient care rose as well.

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Portfolio management prices decreased 4.2%, according to the report. It joined indexes for guestroom rentals; apparel, jewelry, footwear, and accessories retailing; automobile retailing; and residential real estate loans, which all fell.

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