Prices of fruit and vegetables are on display in a store in Brooklyn, New York City, U.S., March 29, 2022.
Prices of fruit and vegetables are on display in a store in Brooklyn, New York City, U.S., March 29, 2022. Reuters / ANDREW KELLY

Prices for wholesale goods in the U.S. have experienced a jolt in March as prices saw their highest annual growth on record at 11.2%.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shared their latest data for the Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures the prices paid by wholesalers for their goods. In the last year, inflation surged by 11.2%, its highest level recorded since 2010 and the highest year-on-year growth on record.

Excluding more volatile food and energy prices, core PPI rose 0.9% in the last month and 7% in the last year. Much of the growth was concentrated in goods inflation with final demand goods growing by 2.3%. Energy goods grew the most at 5.7%, but the increase was smaller than the 7.5% jump that was seen between January and February.

Inflation in the service sector did not grow as acutely as for goods, but prices for transportation and warehousing rose by 5.5% -- more than doubling the increase recorded in February.

These numbers are evidence that inflation is continuing to grow as supply chain bottlenecks take their toll on the global economy. Russia’s war in Ukraine has resulted in serious disruptions for food and energy products, while COVID-19 lockdowns in China have produced their own problems.

The PPI numbers come one day after a similarly dour Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading that saw an 8.5% increase for American households, driven by double-digit hikes in energy prices.

The new numbers are sure to raise pressure on the Federal Reserve to take a bolder stance on interest rates. Last month, the central bank initiated a quarter-percentage point rate hike in a bid to tamp down inflation and to gauge how markets would react.

Fed officials have signaled that they are ready to initiate a sharper rate hike in the coming months. Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said last week that the central bank would act “rapidly” to shrink its $8.9 trillion balance sheet to combat inflation.