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December wholesale prices up 0.3% with sharp jump in energy

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.3% in December led by a the biggest jump in energy costs since June.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the gain in its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, followed a modest 0.1% gain in November and matched the 0.3% rise in October.

The December increase reflected a 5.5% surge in energy costs, the biggest gain since a 9.6% jump in June. That offset a 0.1% drop in food costs, the first decline since August. Over the past 12 months, inflation at the wholesale level has risen a modest 1.5%.

The government reported Wednesday that consumer inflation was also well-behaved last year, rising just 1.4% over the past 12 months.