Wholesale prices up 6.3 percent in 2007
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wholesale prices rose by 6.3 percent in 2007, the biggest increase in 26 years.
The Labor Department reports that the biggest one-month increase happened in November, with a jump of 3.2 percent. Still, the year ended on a more positive note, with wholesale prices falling by 0.1 percent in December.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reports that retail sales fell by 0.4 percent in December. The decline was worse than expected and increased worries that the country could topple into a recession.
Adding to those worries is an increase in unemployment, with the jobless rate jumping to 5 percent in December. That was up from 4.7 the month before, the largest one-month surge in unemployment since just after the September 11th attacks.
The Federal Reserve is trying to decide whether to cut rates to boost the economy, at the risk of making inflation worse. But Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has signaled that the Fed is less worried about inflation and more worried about weak growth.