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Consumer prices in U.S. rise 0.4% in January

Consumer prices in U.S. rise 0.4% in January (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - U.S. consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in January, the Labor Department reported Thursday, driven by higher food and energy expenses. The core consumer price index, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, rose a lesser 0.2%. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast CPI to rise 0.3% overall, with a 0.1% increase in the core rate. Consumer prices are up 1.6% over the last 12 months. In a related report, the government said average hourly earnings fell 0.1% in January, adjusted for inflation. Real average weekly earnings were down 0.3%.