Consumer prices up 5.4%, but core inflation falls short

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A customer wearing a protective mask shops inside an Albertsons grocery store in San Diego, California, June 22, 2020.

Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Prices that Americans pay for everyday goods and services continued their recent acceleration in July as pent-up demand for travel and restaurants kept inflation hot, but about where economists had expected.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that its consumer-price index rose 5.4% in July from a year earlier, in line with June’s figure. The government said CPI increased 0.5% in July on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Excluding energy and food, CPI rose by 0.3% last month, shy of economist expectations of a 0.4% increase.

As one of the most-cited inflation gauges, the CPI measures changes in how much American consumers pay for everyday goods and services including groceries, gasoline, clothes, restaurant meals, haircuts, concerts and automobiles.

The CPI and other price measures have been on the rise in…

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