POLITICS: PennAve

Inflation edges up in December

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Labor,PennAve,Joseph Lawler,Economy,Inflation

Led by rising gasoline costs, inflation rose 0.3 percent on an annual basis in December, according to a Thursday release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, up from no increase the month before and a slight drop in October.

The consumer price index, the most widely watched measure of inflation, showed year-over-year inflation of 1.5 percent for 2013. Stripping out energy and food prices, annual core inflation was flat at 1.7 percent.

Headline CPI inflation ran low throughout 2013, and inflation remains low by a number of measures. The Federal Reserve's target inflation rate is 2 percent.

Thursday's numbers indicate that headline inflation is moving back toward the less-volatile core inflation rate, but that CPI inflation remains tame.

The producer price index, which measures inflation from the perspective of producers rather than buyers, increased 0.4 percent in December, the BLS reported Wednesday. Inflation for the year stood at just 1.2 percent in the PPI.

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