Holy Jesus, wholesale prices surged to Nixonian levels of inflation last month.
Inflation at the wholesale level surged by the largest amount in more than three decades in November, reflecting higher prices for gasoline and a host of other items.
The Producer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, was up 2 percent last month, the biggest advance since a similar increase in November 1974, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.
Economists had been expecting a rebound in wholesale prices following two months of big declines. However, the 2 percent jump was four times bigger than the 0.5 percent increase they had forecast. Even excluding volatile energy and food prices, core inflation posted a 1.3 percent advance, the biggest jump in 26 years.
In other economic news, construction of new homes and apartments increased by 6.7 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.588 million units. However, in a sign of the troubles still besetting the housing industry, applications for permits to build new homes fell for a 10th consecutive month.