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Prices of food and fuel nudge up producer index

Rebounding wholesale food and fuel prices pushed up the producer price index at a moderate 6.9 percent annual rate in June. The index, seasonally adjusted, was up 0.6 percent in June, the Labor Department said. That is a rise from May's increase of 0.4 percent.

Major influences were renewed increases in the cost of food at the dealers' level, a new swing up for home heating oil, and sharp increases in the cost of natural gas.

The June rise was the largest since April, when wholesale prices climbed 9.9 percent at an annual rate, but is nevertheless considered only a moderate upward swing, posing no threat of any quick return to double-digit inf lation for shoppers.

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