The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index remained unchanged for January, according to a Labor Department report [link opens in PDF] released today. Analysts had expected a slight 0.1% bump from December's flatline, but declining energy prices continued to keep consumer costs down. Excluding food and energy price fluctuations, the index managed to beat market expectations by 0.1 percentage points, coming in 0.3% higher for January.
After steep food price increases for December, the food index leveled off for the first time in 10 months. A 3% drop in gasoline and energy commodities helped push energy prices down 1.7%, the third consecutive monthly decrease.
Over the last 12 months, consumer prices have increased 1.6%, or 1.9% excluding food and energy.
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