Prices rose 0.3% higher than expected, annual rate at 3.4%


Consumer prices rose 0.3% in December, higher than expected, pushing the annual rate to 3.4%

Prices that consumers pay for a variety of goods and services rose more than expected in December, according to a Labor Department measure Thursday that shows inflation still holding a grip on the U.S. economy.

The consumer price index increased 0.3% for the month, higher than the 0.2% estimate at a time when most economists and policymakers see inflationary pressures easing. On a 12-month basis, the CPI closed 2023 up 3.4%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a year-over-year reading of 3.2%.

By comparison, the annual CPI gain in December 2022 was about 6.4%.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI also rose 0.3% for the month and 3.9% from a…


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