U.S. Producer Prices Jump 11.2% From a Year Ago, the Most on Record

Prices paid to U.S. producers jumped in March from a year ago by the most in records back to 2010, topping all estimates and underscoring persistent early-stage inflationary pressures that risk feeding through to consumers.

The producer price index for final demand increased 11.2% from March of last year and 1.4% from the prior month, Labor Department data showed Wednesday. The monthly gain was broad across categories and also the largest on record.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the so-called core PPI increased 1% from a month earlier and was up 9.2% from a year ago. That stands in contrast to the latest consumer price report which showed a softening in the pace of core inflation.

The headline PPI and core figures well exceeded estimates. The median forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 10.6% year-over-year increase and a 1.1% monthly advance. February figures were also revised higher.

The data show an intensification of pipeline pressures during the first full month of Russia’s war in Ukraine that pushed up energy, food and metals prices. In addition, transportation bottlenecks and labor shortages are complicating matters for manufacturers and other producers trying to balance supply with steady demand.