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U.S. consumer prices jump 0.4% in August

U.S. consumer prices jump 0.4% in August (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - U.S. consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in August, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The so-called core price index, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, increased a smaller 0.2%. Yet the core rate is now up 2.0% over the past 12 months, the first time it's hit that level since November 2008. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast CPI to rise 0.2% overall, with a 0.2% increase in the core rate. Consumer prices have jumped an unadjusted 3.8% over the past year. The increase in the cost of goods and services has resulted in a 1.8% decline in inflation-adjusted weekly wages for U.S. workers over the past 12 months. Average hourly wages adjusted for inflation dropped 0.6% in August, marking the biggest one-month decline since July 2008, the Labor Department said.