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U.S. Consumer Prices Show Biggest Annual Increase Since 2012 – Bloomberg

by Sho Chandra 

  • Monthly pace slows as energy falls for first time since July
  • Data reinforce expectations for Fed interest-rate hike

The U.S. cost of living rose in February, while prices increased from a year ago by the most since March 2012, reinforcing the view that inflation is in line with the Federal Reserve’s goal.

The consumer-price index climbed 0.1 percent from the previous month after a 0.6 percent January advance that was the largest in nearly four years, Labor Department figures showed on Wednesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for no change. Compared with February 2016, the CPI was up 2.7 percent.

The figures are consistent with the Fed’s inflation objective and, combined with a labor market at or near full employment, help explain why policy makers will probably raise interest rates later Wednesday. Some commodity prices have rebounded and other costs including rents and medical expenses continue to firm up.  Read More….