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WASHINGTON, Nov 14 AFP

November 15 2012, 02:13AM

US producer prices fell in October after four straight months of rises, officials say.

The US Labor Department said on Wednesday the producer price index fell 0.2 per cent from September, led by a drop in energy prices of 0.5 per cent. Food prices rose 0.4 per cent.

Most analysts had expected PPI to rise 0.1 per cent.

Excluding food and energy products, prices dropped for the first time since November 2010, by 0.2 per cent.

The pullback in producer prices came after sharp rises in September and August that averaged 1.4 per cent.

"Input prices will struggle to advance while uncertainty about US fiscal policy and global economic growth persists," said Arijit Dutta at Moody's Analytics.

Superstorm Sandy, which battered the eastern US in late October, had virtually no impact on the preparation of the PPI reading, the department said.

"Crude oil prices peaked in September and have fallen steadily in recent weeks as supply disruptions have proved temporary and the result of concerns that demand is slowing," Dutta said.