By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. wholesale prices increased 0.3 percent in June, a slight slowing from May. But the 12-month gain was the fastest in more than six years, adding to evidence that inflation is beginning to rise after years of weak price gains.
The Labor Department says the June increase in its producer price index -- which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer -- followed a more rapid 0.5 percent rise in May. The deceleration reflected a big drop in food costs in June and a much smaller increase in energy prices.
Wholesale prices over the past 12 months have risen 3.4 percent. It is the largest 12-month gain since a 3.7 percent rise in the 12 months ending in November 2011.