US producer price index for final demand climbed by 0.5 percent in January after rising by 0.2 percent in December, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday. The bigger than expected increase in producer prices came even though energy prices slid by 0.7 percent in January after jumping by 1.5 percent in December. Excluding the pullback in energy prices and a modest increase in food prices, core producer prices still rose by 0.5 percent in January compared to economist estimates for a 0.2 percent uptick. A jump in prices for services contributed to the stronger than expected price growth, with prices for final demand services surging up by 0.7 percent in January after coming in unchanged in December.
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