RTTNews - Consumer prices climbed in June, led by sharp rise in energy prices. While the advance in core prices was slightly more than economists had expected, the figures remained relatively tame - easing some fears about inflation.
The U.S. Labor Department revealed that consumer prices climbed 0.7 percent in June compared to the previous month. In May, the figure was up 0.1 percent.
Economists had projected an advance of about 0.6 percent.
Compared with last year, consumer prices were down 1.4 percent. This was the largest year-over-year decline since 1950.
Core prices, which exclude the volatile food and energy sectors, advanced 0.2 percent compared to the previous month. This followed a 0.1 percent increase for May.
Economists had expected June consumer prices to rise 0.1 percent.
Energy prices were up 7.4 percent in June following a 0.2 percent increase in the previous month. Still, prices were down 25.5 percent compared with last year.
A sharp jump in gasoline prices drove overall figures higher, but the numbers generally show that retail inflation remains under wraps for now.
Other than energy, there is not a whole lot of concern about rising consumer prices, Joel Naroff, chief economist for TD Bank, said in a note to clients.
Inflation has neither gone away nor become a problem, he added. Excluding energy, prices have been rising consistently a little less than 2%.
Economists have been worried that the large amounts of stimulus that authorities have pumped into the economy would lead to a sharp rise in inflation.
In June, transportation prices were also up sharply compared to the previous month, rising 4.2 percent. The figure was down 13.2 percent from last year.
The consumer price report follows data released earlier in the week on producer prices, which showed an acceleration in wholesale inflation.
On Tuesday, the Labor Department said producer prices rose 1.8 percent in June. This followed a rise of 0.2 percent that took place in May and an advance of 0.3 percent in April.
June's advance in wholesale prices represented the biggest month-over-month gain since November of 2007. Economists had predicted an advance of about 1 percent for the month.
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