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US consumer prices edge up in January

US consumer prices rose slightly in January as inflation remained muted despite the Federal Reserve's still-massive monetary stimulus, government data showed on Thursday.

WASHINGTON: US consumer prices rose slightly in January as inflation remained muted despite the Federal Reserve's still-massive monetary stimulus, government data showed on Thursday.

The Labour Department's consumer price index rose 0.1 percent in January, half the 0.2 percent increase in December.

The main factor pushing the CPI higher was a 0.3 percent increase in housing costs.

Restraining the rise was a 1.0 percent drop in gasoline prices and more moderate declines in auto and apparel prices.

Core CPI, excluding food and energy prices that can be volatile, rose 0.1 percent for the second consecutive month.

Analysts on average had forecast January CPI would hold steady at 0.2 percent.

On a 12-month basis, both consumer prices and core CPI were up 1.6 percent, well below the Fed's 2.0 percent inflation target for price stability.

Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics noted that the core CPI rate has hovered between 1.6 percent and 1.8 percent since April 2013,

"We anticipate no further declines," he said. "Disinflation is over, but inflation is not visible yet."

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