Energy drives US wholesale price up 0.4 percent in January

FILE- In this Jan. 22, 2018, file photo, a motorist pumps gas in Bethel Park, Pa. On Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, the Labor Department reports on U.S. pro

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.4 percent in January, the biggest increase since November, as a big jump in energy prices offset a small decline in the cost of food.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the January rise in wholesale prices, which measure the cost of goods before they reach the consumer, followed no increase at all in December and matched a 0.4 percent rise in November. The big gains last month and in November were both driven by sharp increases in the cost of gasoline and other energy products.

Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices have risen 2.7 percent. On Wednesday, the government reported that consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in January, another sign that inflation may be set to rise after years of near flat readings.