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U.S. producer prices jump 0.5% in April

U.S. producer prices showed a broad-based gain in April, which pushed the annual increase up to the largest gain in five years, government data showed. The Labor Department said on Thursday its producer price index for final demand rose 0.5% last month. That was above expectations. Economists surveyed had predicted the producer price index would rise 0.2% in April. That was the sharpest increase since January and followed a 0.1% decline in March. With last month’s jump in prices, the PPI shot up 2.5% in the 12 months through April. That was the biggest gain since February 2012 and followed a 2.3% rise in March. Nearly half of the gain in the PPI in April came from core prices. The so-called core PPI, which excludes food, energy prices and trade, rose 0.7% in April after a 0.1% gain in March. Core PPI increased 2.1% in the 12 months through April after advancing 1.7% in March. Both these gains are records since the government released the new PPI data in August 2013. Energy prices rebounded 0.8% in April after a 2.9% drop in March. Food prices rose 0.9% for the second straight month. Prices for final demand services rose 0.4% in April after a 0.1% drop in March.

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