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U.S. producer prices remain flat in August

Staff writer |
U.S. producer prices stayed unchanged in August, indicating the inflation pressure remains cool.

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Prices of goods fell 0.6 percent, with energy cost tumbling 3.3 percent. Food prices rose 0.3 percent while egg prices surged more than 20 percent due to avian flu epidemic.

Prices of services rose 0.4 percent last month, driven largely by rising retailing costs in garment and accessories.

Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, the so-called "core" producer prices index, or PPI, went up 0.3 percent in August, the same as in July.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is looking for inflation to firm gradually as it considers when to raise benchmark interest rates.

Fed officials expected that as the effects of transitory factors, such as falling oil prices and the strong dollar dissipate while the labor market improves further, inflation will move gradually back towards the U.S. central bank's 2 percent objective.0

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