A fall in producer prices in November showed US inflation is still in check, according to Labor Department figures released Friday.
While the main reason for the 0.2 percent fall last month in the producer price index was the steep drop in energy prices, wholesale goods excluding energy also fell for the second straight month, by 0.1 percent.
Services, which showed a sharp monthly gain in October, rose a modest 0.1 percent in November.
Year-on-year overall producer prices were up 1.4 percent, the slowest rate of annual increase since January.
Analysts said the slower price gains ease pressure on the Federal Reserve to move towards an early interest rate hike.
The Fed, which wants inflation to pick up to around 2.0 percent, meets next week amid signs of a pickup in economic growth and some speculation it will raise its benchmark Fed Funds rate off the zero floor earlier than the projected mid-2015 period.
"Suffice it to say, inflation pressures remain very modest in the US, although less so when one excludes energy, which gives policymakers more wiggle room to hold back," said Jennifer Lee of BMO Capital Markets.
Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics though said much could depend on the services indicator, which has risen against the grain for three months and could be a sign of a pickup in wages, an important inflation signal for the Fed.
"We see no inflation threat from goods prices, either domestic or imported, for the foreseeable future, but services will be a different story if wages accelerate as we expect over the next year," he said in a client note.