US consumer prices up 0.5 pct. in June on gas hike


A measure of U.S. consumer prices rose in June, pushed higher by a sharp increase in gas prices. But the overall trend in inflation stayed tame.

The Labor Department says the consumer price index increased 0.5 percent in June from May. Two-thirds of the increase came from a 6.3 percent jump in gas prices, the largest since February. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, so-called core prices rose just 0.2 percent.

Consumer prices have risen just 1.8 percent over the past 12 months. And core prices are up just 1.6 percent in that period - the smallest 12-month change in two years

Low inflation has given the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low in an effort to boost the economy.

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