WASHINGTON — Prices for U.S. consumers rose last month but at the slowest pace since February, a sign that Americans could gain some relief after four months of sharp increases that elevated inflation to its fastest pace in more than a decade.
Wednesday’s report from the Labor Department showed that consumer prices rose 0.5% from June to July, slower than the previous monthly increase of 0.9%.
They have jumped 5.4% compared with a year earlier.
Excluding volatile oil and gas prices, so-called core inflation rose 4.3% in the past year, down from 4.5% in June, which was the fastest 12-month pace since 1991.
Many economists and experts expected the rise in consumer prices will be short-lived.
“It is not looking to be like inflation that’s really broad-based and has a lot of momentum. I think it’s going to burn itself out relatively soon,” Josh Bevins, research director at the Economic Policy Institute, said in July.
Bevins previously said the quick rebound from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic caused prices to skyrocket. He added that prices were at their lowest during the pandemic.
The Dow Jones closed up 220 points Wednesday. CNBC reports the positive day on Wall Street was partly due to the slower rise in consumer prices.