The Producer Price Index for finished goods advanced 0.4 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Finished goods prices rose 0.1 percent in January and decreased 0.1 percent in December. On an unadjusted basis, the finished goods index rose 3.3 percent for the 12 months ended February 2012, the smallest year-over-year rise since August 2010.

At the earlier stages of processing, the index for intermediate goods moved up 0.7 percent last month and crude goods prices increased 0.4 percent. Last month’s rise in finished goods prices was led by the index for finished energy goods, which moved up 1.3 percent. Prices for finished goods less foods and energy rose 0.2 percent. By contrast, the finished consumer foods index edged down 0.1 percent.

The Producer Price Index advance can be attributed to higher prices for intermediate materials less foods and energy, which climbed 1 percent. The index for intermediate energy goods rose 0.3 percent.

By contrast, prices for intermediate foods and feeds edged down 0.1 percentt, the smallest year-over-year increase since a 2.9-percent rise in December 2009.

The Producer Price Index for the net output of total trade industries edged down 0.1 percent in February after no change in the prior month.