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Broad increase in U.S. producer prices underscores tough inflation battle for Fed

U.S. monthly producer prices increased by the most in more than 12 years in March amid strong demand for goods and services, the latest sign of persistently high inflation that could compel the Federal Reserve to aggressively tighten monetary policy. The report from the Labor Department on Wednesday also showed strong underlying inflation pressures at the factory gate, raising doubts that a decline in the cost of goods, excluding food and energy, in March reported in Tuesday’s consumer prices data would be sustainable. “The broad-based increases reinforce yesterday’s CPI report that will keep the Fed on its aggressive tightening path in the coming months,” said Will Compernolle, a senior economist at FHN Financial in New York.

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