US Inflation Advances with Higher Consumer Prices in January 2011

The cost of living rose more than expected in January as higher food and energy prices pushed up US inflation, according to government data released Thursday.

Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in January 2011, matching an adjusted increase in December and capping seven months of straight gains. Most analysts expected a consumer price ceiling of no more than 0.3 percent for the month.

More than two-thirds of the increase came from food and energy, the US Labor Department said. Food prices marked their biggest gains in over two years. The overall food index was up 0.5 percent in January 2011 as compared to 0.1 percent in the previous month. Over the past year, gasoline prices surged 13.4 percent. They were up 3.5 percent last month and also capped a string of seven monthly gains. Continue reading