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The Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods slipped down 6.5 percent (annualized rate) in February, reversing course after four consecutive increases. Much of the pattern in the overall PPI in recent months has been driven by swings in energy prices, which spiked up 82.5 percent in January only to fall 29.6 percent in February. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the “core” PPI was virtually unchanged in February, rising just 0.7 percent. Over the past 3 months, the core PPI is up 1.6 percent, slightly higher than its 12-month growth rate of 1.0 percent. Further back on the line of production, pricing pressure was mixed as core intermediate goods prices jumped up 11.4 percent, while core crude goods prices decreased 6.9 percent.