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“Core” consumer prices increase in February

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“Core” consumer prices increase in February

Key metric increased 0.3% during the month.

The Consumer Prices Index on a seasonally adjusted basis fell 0.2% in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, after remaining flat in January.

However, the index for all items less food and energy, known as “core” CPI, increased 0.3%, after an identical increase in January.  The increases were the largest since August 2011.

Core CPI has increased 2.3% over the last 12 months.

Analysts had expected core CPI to rise 0.2% during the month, and 2.2% over the past 12 months.

The increase in core CPI may suggest to the Fed that continuing on its path of gradual interest rate hikes over the coming year is justified, particularly in light of an increasingly tightening labor market. 

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