The numbers: U.S. wholesale prices rose sharply in July for the sixth month in a row and offered little evidence that a big wave of inflation is on the verge of cresting.
The producer price index jumped 1% last month, the government said Thursday.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.6% increase.
The pace of wholesale inflation over the past 12 months moved up to 7.8% from 7.3% in June. That’s the highest level since the index was reconfigured in 2010, and likely one of the highest readings since the early 1980s.
Big picture: Inflation has surged along with a nearly full reopening of the U.S. economy. Consumers have a huge appetite for all sorts of goods and services, but businesses can’t keep up with the demand because of widespread shortages of labor and materials.
The wave of inflation is expected to recede once the economy returns to normal, but it’s far from clear how long it will take. Some economists also wonder if the rate of inflation will end up higher than the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.
Inflation is running at a 5.4% annual pace, based on the the consumer price index. The CPI measures changes in the cost of living.
Before the pandemic consumer inflation was increasing at less than 2% a year.