Producer prices eased in April and costs excluding food and energy remained contained, suggesting inflation is not a near-term concern for officials at the Federal Reserve.
The U.S. producer price index, which measures costs paid by the nation's farms and factories, dipped 0.1 percent last month following a 0.7 percent rise in March, the Labor Department said on Tuesday. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.1 percent gain.
Compared to April of last year, prices climbed 5.5 percent, slightly beneath market forecasts.
Core prices, which exclude food and energy goods, climbed 0.2 percent from the prior month, and were up just 1 percent compared to a year earlier, at the bottom of the Federal Reserve's presumed comfort range between 1 percent and 2 percent.
The inflation numbers, along with ongoing market stresses related to worries over the debt outlook for some European nations, suggested policymakers at the U.S. central bank have some leeway to extend their ultra-easy monetary policy.
(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)