Producer Prices Post Steepest Drop Since February 2010

U.S. producer prices in June posted their steepest decline since February 2010 as energy prices eased, suggesting inflation pressures at the wholesale level are abating.

The Producer Price Index slumped 0.4 percent, twice as fast as expected, following a 0.2 percent rise in May, Labor Department data Thursday showed. Gasoline prices slumped 4.7 percent, and residential electric power costs declined a record 2 percent.

Outside food and energy, so-called core producer prices climbed 0.3 percent after the prior month's 0.2 percent gain. Compared to a year earlier, producer prices were still up 7 percent while the core measures rose 2.4 percent, the largest increase since July 2009.