U.S. consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in March mainly due to higher energy costs, the Labor Department said Friday. Energy prices rose 1.1% on the back of higher gasoline costs, which rose by the highest amount in a year. The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, also rose 0.2%, driven by another increase in housing expenses and used car prices. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected the overall CPI to rise 0.3% and the core rate to increase by 0.2%. Consumer prices have fallen an unadjusted 0.1% over the past 12 months. The core rate has increased by 1.8%. Real or inflation-adjusted hourly wages, meanwhile, climbed 0.1% in March to $10.55. Real wages have risen 2.2% over the past 12 months.
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