Spik­ing cost of gaso­line pushes June con­sumer prices up

Antelope Valley Press - - BUSINESS -

WASHINGTON (AP) — US con­sumer prices in­creased 0.6% in June, af­ter three months of de­clines, with a big jump in gaso­line prices ac­count­ing for over half of the gain.

The La­bor Depart­ment re­ported Tues­day that the in­crease in its con­sumer price in­dex fol­lowed de­clines of 0.4% in March, 0.8% in April and 0.1% in May as the hit to de­mand caused by the wide­spread shut­downs of the econ­omy kept a lid on prices.

The June re­port showed that en­ergy prices jumped 5.1% with gaso­line costs surg­ing 12.3%. How­ever, even with that gain gaso­line pump prices are 23.4% be­low where they were a year ago.

Core in­fla­tion, which ex­cludes food and en­ergy, rose a more mod­est 0.2% in June the first monthly in­crease since Fe­bru­ary.

Over the past 12 months, con­sumer prices have in­creased a mod­est 0.8% while core in­fla­tion is up just 1.2%.

That is well be­low the Fed­eral Re­serve’s 2% tar­get for an­nual gains in in­fla­tion. Economists be­lieve given the un­cer­tain eco­nomic out­look with virus cases climb­ing again in many parts of the coun­try, in­fla­tion pres­sures are likely to re­main low for some time to come.

“Don’t be fooled by today’s jump in CPI prices as the longer down­turn in the econ­omy from the Coro­n­avirus sec­ond wave all but guar­an­tees that in­fla­tion isn’t go­ing any­where,” said Chris Rup­key, chief fi­nan­cial econ­o­mist at global fi­nan­cial group MUFG in New York. Other economists said the June rise in prices would ease con­cerns that the coun­try could be in dan­ger of slip­ping into a desta­bi­liz­ing pe­riod of de­fla­tion, some­thing not seen in the United States since the Great De­pres­sion.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this June 8 file photo, a shop­per de­parts a shoe Cam­bridgeSide mall, in Cam­bridge, Mass. store at

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