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Monthly CPI growth in July hit the slowest pace in five months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday, rising 0.5% following a stronger 0.9% increase in June. From a year earlier, CPI was up 5.4%, the same as June.
July's increase was mostly driven by price increases in energy (+1.6%), as gas prices rose 2.4%, and new vehicles, which grew 1.7%. Food prices were up 0.7% in July as the cost of food away from home rose 0.8%. Used car prices were also up in July, but the 0.2% increase was much smaller than in recent months, when gains in used vehicle prices accounted for more than a third of monthly CPI growth. Excluding food and energy prices, CPI was up 0.3%, slightly weaker than the 0.4% increase forecast by Bloomberg. From a year earlier, core CPI was up 4.3%.
Fed policymakers remain watchful of inflation, now sitting well above levels some FOMC members feel comfortable with.