Inflation pressures at the wholesale level eased in December as a drop in energy prices offset a big jump in food costs.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that wholesale prices edged up 0.2 percent last month, much slower than the 1.8 percent surge in November. Energy prices, which had been up for two months, fell in December.
The price performance at the wholesale level combined with last week's benign reading on consumer prices supported the view that inflation is not a problem.
That gives the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low to boost the country out of a deep recession.
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