Friday, April 16, 2021

US consumer prices up 2.1 pct. in December

Washington, Jan 18 (EFE).- The US Consumer Price Index rose 2.1 percent in December from a year earlier, the largest 12-month increase since mid-2014, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

Not including volatile food and energy prices, core annual CPI in December came in at 2.2 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation gauge rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in December from the previous month. The month-to-month increase was 0.2 percent when excluding food and energy.

Energy prices rose 1.5 percent in December and were up 5.4 percent for all of 2016, while food prices remained unchanged for the sixth straight month and were down 0.2 percent for all of last year.

The CPI has been accelerating since mid-2016, although the US Federal Reserve uses a different gauge in determining monetary policy – the Commerce Department’s personal-consumption expenditures price index.

After its latest policy meeting in December 2016, the Fed, which targets an inflation rate of 2 percent, projected that the PCE index would rise 1.5 percent for the 12 months ending in December 2016 and 1.9 percent in 2017.

The PCE index was up 1.4 percent in November from a year earlier, the Commerce Department reported late last month.