Wholesale prices in the US rose modestly in May, the Labor Department reported. Its producer price index rose 0.2 percent after a 0.5 percent gain in April. May's consumer price index - a better measure of inflation trends for consumers - is to be released Wednesday. Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to weigh that report heavily in deciding later this month whether to nudge interest rates up to keep price pressures in check. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 1 percent in May, the biggest surge in three months.
The US International Trade Commission approved tariffs ranging from 18 percent to 67 percent on Japanese hot-rolled carbon steel. The new duties - to be imposed within weeks - were made retroactive to February. Officials in the US steel industry have blamed low-priced imports for thousands of layoffs.