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Consumer prices up as gasoline costs soar


Consumer prices jumped 0.7 percent in June as energy prices soared, the Associated Press reported.

The increase was the biggest one-month gain since last July, but was seen as a temporary jump as energy prices rose 7.4 percent, with a 17.3 percent spike in gasoline prices. Analysts expect gasoline and other energy costs to fall in the near future.

Compared with a year ago, prices were actually down 1.4 percent, a sign that inflation might not be a threat in the near future.

According to the Labor Department, core inflation, which excludes the effect of food and energy prices, was 0.2 percent in June and 1.7 percent for the previous 12 months.

New car prices and clothing costs were both up 0.7 percent and medical-care costs were up 0.2 percent. Meanwhile airline fares fell 0.6 percent. Food costs rose 0.1 percent even though dairy products experienced a big price drop.

According to the Federal Reserve, industrial production fell 0.4 percent in June, but was not as severe as the 1.4 percent drop in May, a sign that the recession could be easing its grip.

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