Inflation in U.S. Rises in December

U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in December and monthly underlying inflation pressures retreated, which experts say could allow the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates unchanged at least through this year.

Figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Labor Department showed its consumer price index increased 0.2% last month after climbing 0.3% in November. The monthly increase in the CPI has been slowing since jumping 0.4% in October. In the 12 months through December, the CPI rose 2.3% after gaining 2.1% in the 12 months through November.

Economists had forecast the CPI would rise 0.3% in December and advance 2.3% on a year-on-year basis.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI edged up 0.1% after gaining 0.2% in November. The so-called core CPI was up by a non-rounded-up figure of 0.1133% last month compared to 0.2298% in November.

In the 12 months through December, the core CPI increased 2.3%, the largest gain since October 2018, after rising 2.3% in November.