U.S. producer prices slump again in April

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BY JEFFRY BARTASH

Inflationary pressures in the U.S. economy were hard to find again in April. Producer prices fell for the seventh time in nine months.

The producer price index, which largely reflects wholesale costs, sank 0.4% in April, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Over the past year producer prices have fallen a record 1.3%, mostly because of a plunge in gasoline prices in the second half of 2014. A weak global economy and stronger dollar has also forced down the prices of imported goods, further reducing inflationary pressure in the U.S.

The latest decline in producer prices was once again tied to lower energy costs. The price of gasoline, natural gas, diesel and jet fuel all fell last month in seasonally adjusted terms.

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