By PAUL WISEMAN
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices fell in March, a sign that inflationary pressures in the economy are easing more than a year after the Federal Reserve began aggressively raising interest rates. Plunging energy prices pulled the government’s producer price index down 0.5% from February to March. Compared with a year ago, wholesale prices were up 2.7% in March — the mildest 12-month increase since January 2021. The producer price index can provide an early sign of how fast consumer inflation will rise. A huge drop in gasoline accounted for much of the sharp slowdown in producer prices. But even excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core wholesale inflation fell 0.1% in March.