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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