Annual U.S. Inflation Rises 2.6%, Consumer Prices Edge 0.2% Higher in January

The cost of living in the U.S. rose less than expected in January, as Americans paid less for new cars, clothes, hotels, homes and other shelter-related costs, the government reported Friday.

However, the price of energy continues to be a burden with increases during the month and year that drove inflation higher over the past 12 months, according to the Labor Department.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the government’s most closely watched barometer for measuring inflation at the consumer level, rose 0.2% in January for the fifth consecutive month. The figure is lower than the 0.3% increase most analysts were forecasting.

"Despite the extraordinary fiscal and monetary stimulus injected into the economy, many prices are still stagnant or declining," Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist for Miller Tabak, wrote in a research note on Friday that was quoted on NYTimes.com. Adding, "The pricing situation still remains fragile."

Continue reading Annual U.S. Inflation Rises 2.6%, Consumer Prices Edge 0.2% Higher in January

2010 US Inflation Calculator and Rate Updates

The cost of living for Americans increased in January, but at a slower pace than most economists were forecasting.

Consumer prices edged up 0.2% for the month and annual inflation rose 2.6%, according to the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, data released by the Labor Department on Friday. The same December readings came in at 0.2% (revised upward from 0.1%) and 2.7%, respectively.

The CPI is the government’s key inflation barometer, measuring inflation at the consumer level. January’s increase marks the fifth straight month of 0.2% gains. Most analysts were expecting a rise of 0.3%. Either inflation level is tame. Continue reading 2010 US Inflation Calculator and Rate Updates

US Producer Prices Surge 1.4% in January, Annual Wholesale Inflation Rises to 4.6%

Producer prices in the U.S. jumped more than expected in January and annual wholesale inflation climbed the most since October 2008, the government reported on Thursday.

The Labor Department’s Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, soared 1.4% in January after a 0.4% increase in December. Forecasts for the month ranged from 0.7% to 0.9%.

Driving prices higher were increased energy and good costs, with respective gains of 5.1% and 1.7%. The same readings in December came in at 0.7% and 0.6%. The biggest contributors to wholesale energy prices were a 11.5% advance in gasoline and 16.2% rise in home heating oil — the latter helped by colder than normal weather. Food prices were up 0.4% compared to 1.3% in December. Continue reading US Producer Prices Surge 1.4% in January, Annual Wholesale Inflation Rises to 4.6%