Inflation picked up in the first month of the year, defying optimism from investors and officials over a steady move lower seen in recent readings.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January showed a 0.5% increase in prices over the past month, an acceleration from the prior reading, government data showed Tuesday. CPI rose 6.4% over last year.
Economists had expected prices to climb at a 6.2% annual clip and jump 0.5% month-over-month, per consensus estimates from Bloomberg. New seasonal adjustments released by the BLS on Friday also switched December’s initial reading of a 0.1% monthly drop in headline inflation to an increase of 0.1% in the year’s final month.
On a “core” basis, which strips out the volatile food and energy components of the report, prices climbed 5.6% year-over-year, more than expected, and 0.4% over the prior month. Forecasts called for a 5.5% annual increase and 0.4% monthly rise in the core CPI reading.
Policymakers monitor “core” inflation more closely due to its nuanced look at key inputs like housing, while the headline CPI figure has moved largely in tandem with volatile energy prices last year.
(This post is breaking. Please check back for updates.)
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc
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