Wholesale prices shot up 3.2 percent in November, the biggest jump in 34 years, propelled by a record rise in gasoline prices.
According to the Labor Department, the big inflation pickup in the Producer Price Index came after wholesale prices inched up by just 0.1 percent in October. That index measures the costs of goods before they reach stores shelves.
When volatile energy and food prices are removed, all other prices rose by 0.4 percent in November, after being flat the month before. The last time this price barometer registered a bigger increase was one year ago. The pickup in "core" prices suggested inflation may be seeping into a wider range of goods.
The inflation figures were worse than economists were expecting. They were forecasting overall wholesale prices to go up by 1.5 percent, and core prices to increase 0.2 percent.
Soaring energy prices were mostly to blame. They leaped by a record 14.1 percent in November.