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No end to America’s rising prices: Another inflation measure rose in January

NEW YORK CITY - JANUARY 12: People shop for groceries in a Manhattan store on January 12, 2022 in New York City. Newly released data shows that inflation grew at its fastest 12-month pace in nearly 40 years during the month of December. It showed a 7% jump from a year earlier, as prices rose on everything from gas to furniture for American shoppers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(CNN) — America’s high prices didn’t budge in January. Another key inflation measure showed prices rising last month.

The producer price index, which tracks average price changes America’s producers get paid for their goods and services over time, rose 9.7% in the 12 months ended in January, not adjusted for seasonal swings, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday. That was far higher than economists had expected, albeit a 0.1 percentage point decrease from the revised series high set at the end of 2021.

For the month of January alone, prices rose 1%, adjusted for seasonal swings, dwarfing both the price increase from December and economists’ expectations. Forecasts had only been for a 0.5% price increase.

Stripping out food, energy and trade services, which tend to have more volatile price swings, the inflation gauge rose 0.9% in January, the biggest jump since January 2021. Over the 12-month period, core prices rose 6.9%, a 0.1 percentage point decline compared with December.

Where did prices rise?

Prices rose across the board, including for motor vehicles and equipment, gas, clothing and accessories, transportation and hospital outpatient care.

The PPI tracks prices for finished goods and services sold to consumers, as well as the goods, services, maintenance and repair construction sold to businesses that make or provide those finished products.

The January rise of energy costs won’t get any better in February, said BMO senior economist Jennifer Lee in a note to clients.

On Monday, US oil prices briefly rose to their highest levels since 2014 amid heightened concerns about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.

And even though oil prices fell early Tuesday, good inflation-related news is hard to come by.

“An early look at February in one part of the country isn’t bringing good news,” Lee said, referring to the New York state manufacturing index that was released at the same time as PPI and sharply unperformed expectations.

This is a developing story. It will be updated