Consumer prices may ease soon despite drought-driven spike

(Photo: AFP)

Though severe drought conditions have raised the cost of food this summer, consumers may have seen the worst of the price impact at the grocery store.

Higher food prices helped lift the closely watched Producer Price Index by 0.3 percent in July, the fastest pace in five months. At the same time retail sales rose 0.8 percent, the first increase in four months and well ahead of expectations, signaling that the sluggish economy may be picking up momentum.