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Core consumer prices grow fast


The cost of apparel, shelter and airline fares drove up the U.S. Department of Labor’s core Consumer Price Index in January, an indication that an extended period of slowing inflation has passed, Reuters reported.

The 0.2 percent increase marked the fastest growth of core consumer prices in more than a year, the Labor Department said today, and exceeded economists’ expectations for a 0.1 percent rise.

Economists, the majority of whom agreed inflation had bottomed out, said the quick pace of the turnaround in prices was unlikely to trouble policy-makers at the Federal Reserve, who are still working to stimulate the economy.

“It is in line with our view that the disinflation process bottomed in the fourth quarter,” said Michael Gapen, a senior U.S. economist at Barclays Capital in New York. “We do not see pricing power being passed along yet.”

The Core index, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.1 percent in December.

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