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CPI rises 0.1% in December mostly on higher housing costs

The consumer price index rose 0.1% in December, with four-fifths of the increase tied to the highest cost of housing. The increase matched the MarketWatch forecast.

If gas and food are stripped out, the so-called core rate of inflation rose a much sharper 0.3%, a notch above the MarketWatch forecast and the highest reading in almost a year.

The 12-month rate of inflation as measured by the CPI slipped to 2.1% from 2.2%.

The more closely followed core rate edged up 1.8% from 1.7%, but it™s been stuck in that range for eight months in a row.

The increase in the cost of living last month was tied largely to increasing rents and home prices.

Also contributing: Higher prices for prescription drugs, new cars and trucks and motor vehicle insurance.

Food prices rose 0.2%, but that increase was more than offset by a 1.2% drop in energy prices.

Adjusted for inflation, hourly wages rose 0.2% to mark the first increase since July. Over the past year œreal wages have only risen 0.4%, however.

Source: Marketwatch

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