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US producer prices fall 0.2% in May

US producer prices dipped in May following two straight months of gains, as demand for services and goods weakened, government data released Friday showed.

WASHINGTON: US producer prices dipped in May following two straight months of gains, as demand for services and goods weakened, government data released Friday showed.

The Labour Department said its producer price index fell 0.2 percent in May after surging 0.6 percent in April, and 0.5 percent in March.

Stripping out food and energy prices, core PPI was down 0.1 percent in May.

The fall in the PPI was unexpected. The consensus estimate was for a 0.2 percent rise increase in PPI and for core PPI to tick 0.1 percent higher.

The department said the drop was due to 0.2 percent decreases in both final demand services and final demand goods.

A 0.9 percent fall in gasoline prices accounted for roughly half of the decline in the final demand goods prices.

May producer prices were up 2.0 percent from a year ago.

Producer inflation has been inching up as the economy gradually recovers from the severe 2008-2009 recession.

Consumer inflation remains subdued, well below the Federal Reserve's target of 2.0 percent on its preferred measure, the personal consumption expenditures price index. The PCE inflation rate stood at an annualised 1.6 percent in April.

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