Inflation at the wholesale level in February was hot, but not as hot as it has been.
Wholesale food prices climbed at a faster rate, rising 13.7% year over year and advancing 1.9% in February alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest producer prices report, released March 15.
In the latest up-and-down for wholesale beef prices of late, beef and veal prices declined 3.6% month to month in February, although wholesale beef prices still stood nearly 23% higher than they were a year ago. Producer prices for fresh vegetables were down 9.4% from January.
The biggest gainers in food during the month were eggs, with wholesale prices up 31% month over month and year over year, as well as oilseeds (up 9.2% in February alone after rising 8.7% in January), roasted coffee (up 9.1%), shortening and cooking oils (up 8.2% in February and 44% year over year) and frozen specialty food (up 5.8%).
Wholesale chicken prices, while advancing a modest 2.1% in February vs. January, were up more than 26% year over year. In comparison, pork prices rose 3.9% during the month but were up just 4.7% vs. the year-ago period.
Throughout the economy, wholesale prices advanced o.8% month to month in February after jumping 1.2% in January from December.