RTTNews - Consumer prices were unchanged in the month of July, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, with decreases in food and energy prices offsetting higher prices for apparel and tobacco.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index was unchanged in July after increasing by an unrevised 0.7 percent in June. The lack of growth in consumer prices came in line with the expectations of economists.
Apparel prices showed a notable increase for the month, with the apparel index increasing by 0.6 percent in July following a 0.7 percent increase in June.
The other goods and services index also saw a noteworthy advance, rising 0.8 percent in July after increasing by 0.3 percent in June. The increase by the index was largely due to a 2.2 percent jump in tobacco prices, which came as tax increases in several states went into effect.
As mentioned above, however, the price increases were offset by lower prices for food and energy. Food prices fell 0.3 percent in July after coming in unchanged in June, while energy prices fell 0.4 percent in July after jumping 7.4 percent in the previous month.
Excluding the decreases in food and energy prices, the core consumer price index edged up 0.1 percent in July following a 0.2 percent increase in the previous month. Economists had expected the index to increase by 0.1 percent.
On an annual basis, the headline consumer price index was down 2.1 percent, marking an acceleration from the 1.4 percent decline reported for June. With the decrease, the annual inflation rate fell to its lowest level since January of 1950.
Meanwhile, core prices were up 1.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago, although this is slower than the 1.7 percent rate of annual growth reported in the previous month.
Next Tuesday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its report on wholesale price inflation in the month of July. Economists expect wholesale prices to fall 0.2 percent, while core wholesale prices are expected to edge up 0.1 percent.
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