Inflation Rises Stateside

Consumer prices south of the border rose broadly in July, but experts say the increase in inflation will do little to change expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again next month amid worsening trade tensions.

Figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Labor Department indicate the consumer price index increased 0.3% last month, lifted by gains in the cost of energy products and a range of other goods. The CPI had edged up 0.1% for two straight months. In the 12 months through July, the CPI increased 1.8% after advancing 1.6% in June.

Economists had forecast the CPI would accelerate 0.3% in July and rise 1.7% year on year.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI gained 0.3% after rising by the same margin in June. The so-called core CPI was boosted by increases in prices for apparel, airline tickets, healthcare and household furnishings.

In the 12 months through July, the core CPI climbed 2.2% after rising 2.1% in June.

The Fed, which has a 2% inflation target, tracks the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index for monetary policy. The core PCE price index rose 1.6% on a year-on-year basis in June and has undershot its target this year.