Editor's note: This story was updated on Feb. 22, 2016, with a new chart. The original chart had incorrect full-year inflation percentages.
The consumer price index was flat in January as cheaper gasoline and moderating grocery prices kept inflation in check, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, as reviewed by MarketWatch.
Over the past 12 months the main consumer price index has risen by an unadjusted 1.4%, double the rate in December. This is the fastest pace since late 2014.
Energy prices fell 2.8% in January, fueled by another drop in gasoline, which costs less than $2 a gallon in many parts of the country.
Food prices were unchanged in January as the cost of most staples fell, the Labor Department said. The cost of groceries is rising at a much slower rate after spiking in late 2014 and early 2015.
Yet so-called core consumer prices jumped 0.3% to mark the biggest gain since August 2011.
Higher medical care and housing expenses are behind the rise.
The cost of medical care jumped 0.5% in January and it’s risen 3.3% in the past 12 months, the highest rate in three years.
The cost of owning a home or renting an apartment has climbed 3.2% in the past year. Rents are rising at the fastest pace since 2007.
Real or inflation-adjusted hourly wages, meanwhile, rose 0.4% in January. They have increased by a mediocre 1.1% in the past 12 months.
The consumer price index for Auto insurance rose 5.4% in January, which was down from December’s increase of 5.7%.
(Source: Insurance Information Institute)
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