Core producer prices rise 0.3 percent in April

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. core producer prices rose 0.3 percent in April for the second consecutive month, while the increase from a year ago was the largest since August 2009, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a rise of 0.2 percent in the core producer price index, which excludes volatile food and energy components from prices paid at the farm and factory gate.

In the 12 months to April, the core producer price index rose 2.1 percent, the biggest increase since August 2009.

Overall producer prices rose 0.8 percent in April, after a 0.7 percent rise in March, the department said. Economists had expected a 0.6 percent rise.

The 6.8 percent rise in producer prices over the past year was the most since September 2008, the department said.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)