Producer prices for the past year spiked in May to 6.6 percent, the highest in the history of the data set dating back to 2010, the US Labor Department said Tuesday.
The report could raise fears that wholesale inflation will move through the economy and pressure consumer prices, which already are showing signs of surging.
The new data were released on the first day of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, and will ramp up pressure on central bankers to pay more attention to inflation in the world's largest economy.
Compared to April, the producer price index (PPI) rose 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, far more than economists had expected.
The increases were driven by higher wholesale prices for goods last month, especially food and energy, including double digit increases in grain, oilseeds and beef and veal.
Energy rose 2.2 percent compared to the prior month, as did gasoline.
Excluding the more volatile food and energy goods and trade services, "core" PPI rose 0.7 percent last month and gained 5.3 percent over the latest 12 months -- the highest since the index began in August 2014.
Services are a key driver of overall PPI, and those prices were dominated by a 27.3 percent jump in auto retailing, along with gains for other services like truck transportation and apparel.