The government said yesterday that wholesale prices shot up nearly a full percentage point in September, as President Carter's economic advisers continued work on an anti-inflation plan that will seek to limit price increases to a 5.75 percent average next year.
Government sources said yesterday that Carter has informally endorsed the voluntary anti-inflation program that will set a 7 percent guideline for wage increases and a 5.7 percent standard for prices.
But officials cautioned that the President has not yet finally approved any portion of the program and that there are many details yet to be worked out, including who will head the new effort.
The high-level economic policy group discussed the anti-inflation plan yesterday morning, and the operating assumption of the meeting was that the president approves both the wage and price guidelines, aides said.
Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal is scheduled to meet with Carter today to discuss the program.
A, in the first months of the year, large increases in food prices, mainly beef, were the main cause as wholesale prices generally rose 0.9 percent last month.
But prices accelerated all along the production chain, from crude materials such as iron ore to semiprocessed products such as steel to finished goods such as cars.
White House spokesman Jody Powell said the administration was concerned by the upswing in the prices of goods that are about ready to be sold to final users - either businesses or consumers.
But Powell said that the administration's economists still expect food price increases to be more moderate in the months ahead.
About half of last month's 1.7 percent increase in food prices was caused by a 5.4 percent jump in the price of beef. Beef prices were also a leading factor during the first half of the year when food prices pushed both retail and wholesale inflation into the double-digit range.
But food price increases subsided in the summer and, as a result, wholesale prices fell 0.1 percent in August, their first monthly decline in two years.
While food prices contributed most last month, nonfood finished goods rose 0.6 percent, or at an annual rate of about 7.4 percent.
The administration has been surprised by the heavy inflation so far this year.As a result, it has been forced to revise its inflation estimates. In January, Carter said prices would rise 6 percent this year. Now officials say inflation will be at least 8 percent.
Wholesale prices are a precursor of prices that consumers ultimately pay.
The president cited the renewed inflation in wholesale prices in asking members of Congress to support his veto of a $10 billion public works bill that he says is inflationary and wasteful.
The big increase in prices should also be one more element in the president's case for a stronger program to help keep the lid on inflation.
On Wednesday, in a gloomy report, said that inflation in the United the Council on Wage and Price Stabil-States was worsening as the price increases that were concentrated in housing and food costs early in the year spread to other sectors of the economy.
Yesterday, in an address at the National Press Club, Vice President Mondale indicated that many of the final decisions on the revised anti-inflation program had been made, although he ducked a question on whether the program would contain wage and price guidelines.
But following Mondale's address, his office released a statement saying that he had not meant to imply that the president had approved a plan or that the final details had been worked out.
Organized labor has been strongly opposed to any anti-inflation plan that contains numerical guidelines for wages and prices.
Yesterday, Teamsters Union President Frank Fitzsimmons said he would not cave in to White House pressures to seek a smaller settlement for his union members next year when the Teamsters and the trucking industry negotiate their master agreement.
Fitzsimmons has met twice in recent weeks with White House officials to discuss the inflation program and the White House's plans to toughen up the current program that seeks to get labor and business to moderate their wage and price demands from last year's levels.
But he rejected administration pressures to moderate Teamster wage detion.
"Inflation is living in a higher priced neighborhood without moving," he said in a speech prepared for delivery in Michigan. "Apparently the Carter administration wants Teamsters to move to a lower-priced neighborhood. Teamsters are not going to move from their neighborhoods.
"When we negotiate the National Master Freight Agreement, we are going to see it that Teamsters remain in the economic mainstream of American life."
The Teamsters are one of several unions that have been singled out by Barry Bosworth, director of the Council on Wage and Price Stability, as receiving wage increases far in excess of the average American worker for the last decade. Bosworth has said these major unions must moderate their demands if inflation is to be contained.
The 0.9 percent rise in finished wholesale prices last month works out to an annual rate of increase of 11.4 percent. Over the last year these prices have risen 8.2 percent.
Between September 1976 and September 1977 these prices rose 8.2 percent.
The prices of semifinished goods rose 0.7 percent in September and have been creeping up steadily since June. Crude goods prices rose 1.6 percent in September.