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US consumer prices rise at highest rate in 6 years - Labor Dept.

WASHINGTON, July 12 (KUNA) -- Consumer prices in the United States rose for the third consecutive month in June, pushing inflation to a six year high, according to new figures released by the Labor Department Thursday.
The Labor Department reported its Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to a seasonally-adjusted 0.1 percent in June, after edging up 0.2 percent the previous month.
The CPI, which gauges day-to-day consumer purchases, has increased 2.9 percent over the past 12 months through June, the highest rate since February 2012. Core inflation ticked up to 2.3 percent last month from a year earlier, the highest rate since January 2017.
Despite lowering unemployment rates and a strong economy, annual inflation fully offset American workers' hourly wage growth in June for the second month a row, leaving real hourly earning flat from a year earlier.
Rising prices were led by upticks in food, gasoline, shelter and medical costs. The CPI showed gas prices rising a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent in June from May and 24 percent from a year earlier.
Separately, the Energy Information Administration showed the price of a gallon of regular gasoline rose to 2.89 in June, the highest price from the month since 2014. Meanwhile, shelter and rent costs, which account for about a third of overall consumer spending, rose 0.1 percent in June from May and were up 3.4 percent from a year earlier. Medical-care services rose 0.4 percent in June from May and were up 2.5 percent on the year. And food prices rose 0.2 percent in June with the annual increase in this category at 1.4 percent.
The higher inflation is expected to push the Federal Reserve to raise US interest rates. The Fed expects inflation to level off soon and fall back toward the 2 percent mark, but if it does not, the central bank might have to act even more aggressively. (end) hy.mt