US Consumer Prices Slow Down in May

U.S. consumer prices moderated in May, but sustained increases in housing and healthcare costs kept underlying inflation supported, which could allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.

The Labor Department said on Thursday its Consumer Price Index increased 0.2 percent last month after rising 0.4 percent in April. In the 12 months through May, the CPI advanced 1.0 percent after rising 1.1 percent in April.

Economists had forecast the CPI gaining 0.3 percent last month and advancing 1.1 percent from a year ago.

The so-called core CPI, which strips out food and energy costs, rose 0.2 percent after a similar gain in April. That took the year-on-year core CPI rise to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent in April.

The Fed has a 2 percent inflation target and tracks an inflation measure which is currently at 1.6 percent. The U.S. central bank on Wednesday kept interest rates unchanged and said it expected inflation to remain below its target through 2017.

While the Fed signaled it still planned two rate hikes this year, there was less conviction, with six officials expecting only a single increase, up from one in March.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza