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Cheap Natural Gas Keeps CPI in Check

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The Consumer Price Index increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% for July, according to a Labor Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.

After gas prices helped push consumer prices up 0.5% in June, analysts' expectations for July proved right on the money.

Source: Labor Department 

According to the report, the Index's increase was a result of broad-sweeping price bumps across the spectrum, including shelter (0.2%), gasoline (1%), apparel (0.6%), and food (0.1%). Excluding more volatile food and energy prices, the CPI still clocked in at analyst expectations of 0.2%. Natural gas prices proved to be the big equalizer this month, down 2.8%, after a 0.4% decrease in June.

Over the last 12 months, the CPI has headed 2% higher, fueled primarily by a 4.7% jump in energy prices. Commodities and used cars and trucks are the only two categories to decrease in price, dropping 0.2% and 2.1%, respectively.

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