Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Producer prices rise 0.5 percent in March

By
From page A2 | April 11, 2014 |

WASHINGTON (AP) — The prices companies receive for their goods and services jumped in March led by gains for food, clothing, jewelry and chemicals.

The producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, rose 0.5 percent in March, the Labor Department said Friday.

Overall inflation remains relatively tame. Producer prices increased 1.4 percent during the past 12 months.

Wholesale food prices rose last month, led by a 30.4 percent leap in the costs of hogs and 12.4 percent increase in poultry. Those increases were partially offset by a 2.4 percent decline in gasoline prices and a 0.7 percent drop for electric power. Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy and retailer and wholesaler profit margins, core prices ticked up 0.3 percent.

Some of the higher prices were due to a “distortion caused by the unusually bad weather” in previous months, said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics. Snowstorms kept many shoppers at home and hurt retail sales. The margins of clothing wholesalers and retailers bounced back in March, rising by 3.3 percent to push up overall producer prices.

Inflation has been near historic lows during the past two years. The producer price index rose just 1.2 percent in 2013 after a 1.4 percent increase in 2012. Both figures are far below the Fed’s preferred target of 2 percent.

Stronger growth usually leads to higher levels of inflation. But the economy has struggled to accelerate during the 4 ½-year recovery from the Great Recession. Wage growth has been close to flat, while unemployment remains at historically high levels. This limits consumer spending and limits the ability of businesses to raise prices.

Low inflation has enabled the Federal Reserve to pursue extraordinary stimulus programs to boost spending, hiring and overall economic growth.

The Fed has begun to unwind some of that stimulus, although it intends to prolong its near zero short-term interest rates, in part, because inflation has been so low. The U.S. central bank has cut its monthly bond purchases to $55 billion, down from $85 billion last year. The bond purchases are aimed at lowering long-term interest rates to bolster growth.

The economy has started to improve after a winter slowdown. Employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, according to a government report issued last week. Snowstorms and freezing temperatures cut into job gains in December and January.

Hiring over the past two months suggests the economy may be gaining steam with the start of spring, likely encouraging the Fed to continue reducing its stimulus despite concerns about low inflation.

————

By Josh Boak, AP economics writer

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Council to hear about drought pricing

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Downtown altercation leads to injuries

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Free beginner yoga class offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
NAMI support group meets May 10

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Dr. G featured on the radio

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
 
Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Forum

Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
With sincere gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

A wonderful day of service

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Please help Baltimore

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

End of life doesn’t mean life must end

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Dangers from prescription pills

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

UCD softball splits with Titans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Making memories at Aggie Stadium

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Marrone opens new greenhouse

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
New firm helps students on path to college

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8