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U.S. consumer prices up 0.2 percent in December

The Labor Department announced on Tuesday the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2 percent m-o-m in December after an unrevised 0.3 percent m-o-m gain in the previous month.

Over the last 12 months, the CPI climbed 2.3 percent y-o-y last month, following an unrevised 2.1 percent m-o-m jump in the 12 months through November. That was the highest annual inflation since October 2018.

Economists had forecast the CPI to increase 0.3 percent m-o-m and 2.3 percent y-o-y in the 12-month period.

According to the report, the indexes for gasoline (+2.8 percent m-o-m), shelter (+0.2 percent m-o-m), and medical care (+0.6 percent m-o-m) all rose in December, accounting for most of the gain in the seasonally adjusted all items index. The food index also went up in December (+0.2 percent m-o-m).

Meanwhile, the core CPI excluding volatile food and fuel costs edged up 0.1 percent m-o-m in December, following a 0.2 percent m-o-m advance in the previous month.

In the 12 months through December, the core CPI surged 2.3 percent, the same pace as in the 12 months ending November.

Economists had forecast the core CPI to rise 0.2 percent m-o-m and 2.3 percent y-o-y last month.

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