Inflation Numbers Could Be Deceiving
Inflation at the wholesale level was moderate last month. But the latest government figures provide mixed signals that reflect possible turbulence beneath the calm.
The Labor Department said Friday the Producer Price Index, measuring inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, rose 0.3 percent in January.
The figures were smaller than the 0.4 percent economists had predicted. But analysts noted that December figures were revised upward and also cautioned that higher prices at earlier stages of production below the wholesale level are worrisome.
Analysts said the Federal Reserve, which has been battling inflation by raising interest rates, likely will remain on the sidelines for now. But by midspring the Fed may raise short-term rates.