US consumer prices inch up in July

Business | 11 Aug 2017 10:39 pm

Consumer prices posted a slight gain in July, with higher costs for medical care and clothing offsetting declines for hotel stays and consumer cellphone plans. 

The Labor Department said today that its consumer price index edged up 0.1 percent last month after no gain in June and a 0.1 percent fall in May. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food changes, was also up a slight 0.1 percent in July. 

Both overall inflation and core inflation have risen an identical 1.7 percent over the past 12 months. That shows that inflation pressures remain well under control. In fact, a separate inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve has been slowing this year, raising concerns that inflation is falling farther from the Fed's 2 percent goal. 

"Today's report is just the sort of ammunition the Fed doves need to argue against additional rate hikes this year,'' said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG in New York, referring to the group of Fed officials who generally argue for a go-slow approach to hiking interest rates.-AP



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