The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in July, ticking slightly higher after being unchanged in June. Food prices rose by 0.2 percent for the month, but that was partially offset by a decline in energy costs of 0.1 percent. Since July 2016, food and energy costs have increased 1.1 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
Overall, the consumer price index (CPI) increased 1.7 percent year-over-year in July, inching up from 1.6 percent in June. Pricing pressures had accelerated over much of the past year, increasing from 0.9 percent year-over-year in July 2016 to 2.8 percent year-over-year in February. However, inflation has cooled since then.
Similarly, core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy costs, have increased by 0.1 percent in each of the past four months. Excluding food and energy costs, consumer prices have also risen 1.7 percent over the past 12 months, pulling back from its recent peak of 2.3 percent in January. As such, overall pricing pressures remain modest and mostly under control for now. The recent deceleration trend in pricing pressures should give the Federal Reserve some breathing room on monetary policy.
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