U.S. Consumer Prices Edge Up 0.1% In July

By Jeffry BartashMarketWatch Pulse

Higher costs of housing helped nudge up consumer prices in July, but inflation is still generally muted, fresh government data show. The consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.2% gain. Food prices climbed 0.2% as the cost of all major grocery groups increased. Energy prices rose a smaller 0.1%. Excluding food and energy, so-called core consumer prices also advanced 0.1% in July. A 0.4% jump in the cost of shelter - the biggest since 2007 - spurred the increase. Prices for clothes and medical care also rose. Over the past 12 months the main CPI has risen by an unadjusted 0.2%. Core prices are up 1.8% in the same span. Real hourly wages, meanwhile, increased 0.1% in July. Real wages have risen 1.9% in the past 12 months, with weekly paychecks up a somewhat larger 2.2%.

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