US consumer prices rise 0.3 pct. in June on higher gas costs


WASHINGTON (AP) – Rising gasoline prices pushed inflation up modestly in June.

The Labor Department says its consumer price index rose 0.3 percent last month. Prices at the pump rose 3.4 percent in June on top of a 10.4 percent increase in May. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation rose 0.2 percent last month.

Overall consumer prices rose just 0.1 percent the past year, core prices 1.8 percent. Gasoline prices are down 23.3 percent over the last year; they hit bottom in January, then rebounded.

Inflation is running below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target. But Fed chair Janet Yellen told Congress this week that the central bank is likely to lift short-term interest rates later this year. The rate the Fed controls has been at zero since December 2008.

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