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Consumer Prices Up 0.4% Last Month But Core Prices Moderate

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FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 file photo, Jeremy Heskett, of Boston, pumps gasoline at a Shell gas station, in Westwood, Mass. U.S. consumer prices increased 0.4% in February, the biggest increase in six months, led by a sharp jump in gasoline prices. The Labor Department said Wednesday, March 10 that the February advance in its consumer price index followed a 0.3% rise in January and was the largest advance since a similar 0.4% increase in August. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(AP) — U.S. consumer prices increased 0.4% in February, the biggest gain in six months, led by a sharp jump in gasoline prices. But core inflation, excluding food and energy, posted a much smaller 0.1% gain, easing fears about a possible sustained acceleration in inflation. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the February advance in its consumer price index followed a 0.3% rise in January and was the largest advance since a similar 0.4% increase in August. Consumer prices are up 1.7% over the past year, a still moderate performance for inflation which is running below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target for price increases. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, is up just 1.3% for the past 12 months.

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