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US wholesale prices remain subdued for 3-straight month

U.S. producer prices fell for a third straight month in November, pointing to a lack of inflation pressure that could give the Federal Reserve pause as it weighs the future of its monthly bond purchases.

The Labor Department said on Friday its seasonally adjusted producer price index slipped 0.1 percent as gasoline prices maintained their downward trend.

Prices received by the nation's farms, factories and refineries had dipped 0.2 percent in October.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected wholesale prices would be flat in November.

In the 12 months through November, producer prices increased 0.7 percent after rising 0.3 percent in October.

Wholesale prices excluding volatile food and energy costs nudged up 0.1 percent after rising 0.2 percent the prior month. In the 12 months through November, the so-called core PPI rose 1.3 percent after increasing 1.4 percent in October.

U.S. Treasuries prices extended earlier gains after the data suggested inflation may remain below the Fed's target and erode the case for withdrawing stimulus soon.

Despite signs of economic growth strengthening, there is little to indicate that will be accompanied by a pick-up in price pressures because of still-considerable labor market slack.

Persistently low inflation could complicate matters for the U.S. central bank, which is getting ready to start slowing the pace of its $85 billion monthly bond purchases. Some Fed officials have raised concerns about inflation being too low.

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