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Production Prices Reach Record High, Labor Dept Says

Producer Price Index up 8.6 percent over last year

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• November 9, 2021 12:15 pm

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Producer prices have surged 8.6 percent over the last year, matching record highs, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

The Producer Price Index, which tracks input costs for producers, rose 0.6 percent in October, outpacing September's 0.5 percent increase. The index's year-over-year rise matches September's 8.6 percent gain, the highest annual rate in more than a decade.

A spike in energy costs drove October's elevated prices. While final demand for services rose 0.2 percent, final demand for goods jumped 1.2 percent—three-quarters of which can be attributed to a surge in energy costs. Consumer prices for energy commodities have increased 42 percent over the last year, the Labor Department reported in October, and gasoline prices have skyrocketed 50 percent since last year.

The report comes as the Biden administration considers shutting down the Great Lakes' Line 5 pipeline, which transports natural gas and propane between the United States and Canada. President Joe Biden's Energy Department, meanwhile, expects heating costs to jump this winter by as much as 54 percent compared with last year.

Biden faced criticism for the climb in energy prices after his administration blocked construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and suspended permits for new gas and oil drilling on federal lands. Sixty-two percent of voters blame the Biden administration for the inflation surge, according to an October Morning Consult/Politico poll.