WASHINGTON (AP) - Companies paid more for raw materials and factory goods in April, mostly because energy prices jumped for the seventh straight month.
The Labor Department says the Producer Price Index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, rose 0.8 percent last month. That's slightly above the 0.7 percent gain in March. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the core index increased 0.3 percent, the same as the previous month.
In the past 12 months, the index has increased 6.8 percent, the biggest gain in nearly three years. Outside of food and energy, prices rose 2.1 percent, up from a 1.9 percent gain in March. The price of civilian aircraft rose by the most in nearly seven years, pushing up the core index.