U.S. wholesale prices fell 0.2% in June as food costs plunged

U.S. WHOLESALE prices declined 0.2% in June and declined 0.8% year over year. / AP FILE PHOTO/EVAN VUCCI

WASHINGTON (AP) United States wholesale prices fell 0.2% in June as food costs dropped sharply, offsetting a big increase in energy prices.

The Labor Department said the drop in its Producer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, followed a 0.4% gain in May. Wholesale prices have fallen in four of the past five months.

The country has been pushed into a deep recession which is expected to see the economy shrink in the April-June quarter by a record-shattering amount. That downturn, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to keep inflation under control.

The 0.2% drop in wholesale prices in June reflected a 5.2% decline in food costs which helped to offset a 7.7% jump in energy prices.

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Over the past year, wholesale prices have fallen 0.8%.

Martin Crutsinger is an AP economics writer.

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