US producer prices drop 0.3% in September

WASHINGTON — U.S. producer prices fell in September, another sign that inflation remains tame more than 10 years into America’s economic expansion.

The Labor Department says its producer price index, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers, fell 0.3% last month, the first drop since June and the biggest since January. Even core wholesale prices, which exclude volatile food and energy prices, tumbled 0.3%.

Falling prices were widespread, ranging from clothing to machinery.

Over the past year, producer prices have risen a modest 1.4%, and core producer prices are up 2%.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly pressured the Federal Reserve to lower U.S. interest rates, arguing, among other things, that inflation poses no threat even though unemployment is at a 50-year low 3.5%. The Fed has already cut rates twice this year.

Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press