U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.3% in December led by a the largest jump in energy costs since June.
The Labor Department reported Friday that the profit in its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, followed a modest 0.1percent gain in November and matched the 0.3percent rise in October.
The December increase represented a 5.5% surge in energy costs, the biggest gain since a 9.6% leap in June. That offset a 0.1% drop in food costs, the first decrease since August.
Over the previous 12 months, inflation at the wholesale level has climbed a modest 0.8%. The government reported Wednesday that consumer inflation was also well-behaved last year, increasing just 1.4% over the previous 12 months.
These low inflation reading are giving the Federal Reserve space to keep interest levels at ultra-low amounts in a bid to help raise the economy out of a pandemic-induced downturn.