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U.S. Consumer Prices Unchanged In June Amid Falling Energy Prices


Consumer prices in the U.S. came in unchanged in the month of June, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index was flat in June after edging down by 0.1 percent in May. Economists had expected consumer prices to inch up by 0.1 percent.

The report showed another notable decrease in energy prices, which slumped by 1.6 percent in June after tumbling by 2.7 percent in May.

The continued drop in energy prices was offset by another uptick in core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices.

Core consumer prices crept up by 0.1 percent for the third consecutive month, while economists had expected core prices to rise by 0.2 percent.

The increase in core prices reflected 0.2 percent growth in shelter prices as well as higher prices for medical care, motor vehicle insurance, education, and personal care.

The report said consumer prices in June were up by 1.6 percent compared to the same month a year ago, a deceleration from the 1.9 percent year-over-year growth in May.

The annual rate of growth in core consumer prices came in at 1.7 percent in June, unchanged from the previous month.

Paul Ashworth, Chief U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said, "Earlier this week, Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that the Fed would be watching the incoming inflation data particularly closely over the coming months."

"On the basis of June's data, it is getting harder for the Fed to continue claiming that this is a temporary drop off," he added.

The Labor Department released a separate report on Thursday showing a modest uptick in producer prices in the month of June.

The report said the producer price index for final demand inched up by 0.1 percent in June after coming in flat in May. Economists had expected prices to remain unchanged.

Excluding food and energy prices, core producer prices also crept up by 0.1 percent in June after climbing by 0.3 percent in May. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.

Compared to the same month a year ago, producer prices were up by 2.0 percent in June, reflecting a slowdown compared to the 2.4 percent increase in May.

The annual rate of growth in core producer prices also slowed to 1.9 percent in June from 2.1 percent in the previous month.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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