U.S. wholesale prices fell slightly in September as inflationary pressure in the nation's economic pipeline continued to recede, the government reported Wednesday. The producer price index dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.1% - the first decline in more than a year - largely because of lower gasoline prices. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had predicted a 0.1% increase in the PPI. In September, the energy index sank 0.7% owing to a sharp decline in the price of gasoline and fuel costs could fall further in the months ahead. Wholesale food prices also posted the biggest drop in a year, down 0.7%, the Labor Department said. Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy and trade, core wholesale prices also fell by 0.1%. Over the past year overall producer prices have risen an unadjusted 1.6%, down from 1.8% in August. Personal consumption, an index designed to foreshadow changes in the consumer price index, declined 0.2% in September. The true cost to Americans is better seen through the consumer price index, which measures what people actually pay. The CPI will be released next week.
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