Wholesale prices leaped 0.9 percent last month - an annual inflation rate of more than 11 percent - the Labor Department reported yesterday.
More than half the increase came from food and fuel.
President Carter, campaigning in New York, told a lunchtime crowd on Wall Street not to be discouraged by the figures, and warned there will be "more high inflation before we turn the corner" under the various price-restraining and dollar-propping actions he had taken in the last two weeks.
But AFL-CIO President George Meany called the new price statistics "very bad news," and made the point that the "major inflationary elements in these figures are excluded from the administration's anti-inflation program."
Both food and fuel prices are partially exempt from the voluntary wage-price guidelines Carter promulated last week. The new figures "mean even more consumer price increases in the future that workers will have to pay," said Meany, who has denounced the Carter program as unfair to labor and called for full-fledged wage and price controls instead.
In other major ecnnomic developments yesterday:
The dollar made further gains in foreign money markets, following Carter's Wednesday announcement of assorted steps to prevent its decline.
Stock prices lost about a third of the record amount of ground they gained on Wednesday after Carter's announcement. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 10.83 points after rising 35 the day before.
As part of its role in the dollar rescue plan, the Federal Reserve appeared to raise sharply the so-called federal funds rate, a cental rate in the money market. Analysts said the increase in that rate to 9 7/8 percent, from less than 9 percent a week ago, portends another big increase in the prime lending rate to 11.5 percent. The prime rate, which banks charge their biggest corporate customers, is now 10.5 percent.
The Federal Reserve reported the nation's money supply (currency in circulation and checking accounts) fell $5.4 billion in the week ended Oct. 25. That is welcome news because a rapidly expanding money supply is a big factor in inflation and the Fed had appeared unable to check money growth.
But the sudden decline in the money supply at a time when the central bank is raising interest rates again raises the possibility of overtightening by the Fed. If the restrictive actions that began last April are finally taking effect, then the new measures begun this week could choke off the economic expansions and lead to recession.
Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal conceded yesterday that the new resolve to lift interest rates to support the dollar could make a recession more likely, although the administration says it does not foresee anything more than a slight slowing of economic growth.
The sharp increase in wholesale prices last month appeared to catch the administration somewhat by surprise. The news was "unexpectedly bad," said William Cox, deputy chief economist for the Commerce Department.
He said the surge - which occurred all the way up and down the production chain from raw materials to finished goods about ready to be sold to final users - will make it difficult to hold consumer price increases to 8 percent this year.
The administration had hoped that food prices would moderate in the second half of 1978, but after a brief summer respite, food costs jumped 1.7 percent in both September and October. Food price increases show up quickly on supermarket shelves.
According to calculations made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, without the increases last month, the 0.9 percent increase in finished goods would only have been 0.4 percent.
The prices of consumer finished goods - such as food, clothing or gasoling - rose 1 percent last month. When food and fuel prices are factored out of the consumer goods index, the rate of increase would have been 0.3 percent.
The price guidelines in Carter's anti-inflation program do not cover either farm products or industrial raw materials such as crude oil and natural gas. Food processors and grocery stores, as well as refiners and distributors, are included in the program, however.
Jack Carlson, chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the 0.9 percent rise in October wholesale prices - exactly the same as the September rise - means that double-digit inflation is likely for hte rest of the year.
Price of semi-finished goods, such as flour or steel, rose 1.2 percent last month, while raw materials prices increased 3 percent.
Rising prices at all stages of production give the administration little hope that its anti-inflation program will have much visible impact on the inflation rate for some time.
Alfred Kahn, the president's new inflation fighter, conceded it could be as long as a year before the impact of the wage-price program is noticed.
If that is the case, the consumer and wholesale prices continue to rise at fast rates, the buoyant impact of the new dollar program could erode since the decline in the dollar has been attributed to the high rate of inflation in the United States.
The only bright spot in yesterday's wholesale price report was a leveling off in consumer durable goods prices - the cost of such items as cars and appliances.
Consumer nondurable goods rose 1.1 percent, "mainly due to larger price increases for gasoline, home heating oil, and tires and tubes," the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
Even as fuel prices were rising sharply, the Energy Department began work on new natural gas pricing rules that are expected to trigger a rapid rise in gas prices across the country. The new rules are scheduled to take effect Dec. 1.
The rise in food prices was widespread, but as in September and most of the early months of the year, meat prices were the chief culprit. Beef prices, which jumped 5.4 percent in September, rose another 1.4 percent last month. Pork prices climbed 8.1 percent in October. Over the year, beef prices have risen 28 percent.
Overall, finished goods prices are 8.6 percent higher than they were a year ago, while consumer finished goods are 9 percent higher. Food prices rose 11.9 percent between October 1977 and October 1978.
The prices of goods that businesses buy, such as machinery and trucks, rose 0.6 percent last month, about what they have been rising all year.
The Labor Department's index for finished goods was 199.7 percent of its 1967 average last month. That means a selection of goods that cost $100 in 1967 cost $199.70 last month. The index itself is not seasonally adjusted, although all the percentage changes reported by the Labor Department are adjusted for seasonal variations.