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WASHINGTON — US wholesale prices increased in December, pushed up by rising gasoline prices and energy costs. But overall inflation remained mild.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which measures costs before they reach the consumer, rose 0.4 percent last month from November. That ends three straight months of falling wholesale prices.
Gas prices increased 2.2 percent after recent declines. Home heating oil costs grew at the fastest pace in 10 months, while diesel fuel prices increased at the biggest clip in almost four years.
Excluding volatile energy and food costs, so-called core prices increased 0.3 percent in December. That was partly because of a one-time bump in tobacco costs.