The Labor Department said Tuesday its Consumer Price Index (CPI) was unchanged in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, meeting the median forecast. The energy component declined 1.6% after rising in each of the last four months, due largely to decreases in gasoline prices.
Other energy indexes were mixed. The shelter index rose just 0.2%, its smallest increase since March. Prices for medical care, new vehicles, and motor vehicle insurance also rose.
Excluding the volatile food and energy components–the so-called core CPI–consumer prices were 0.1% higher, compared to expectations for another 0.2% gain as in June. The Federal Reserve, though using a separate measurement to gauge inflation, will not likely increase its benchmark interest rate until inflation picks back up to the target 2% level.