July Consumer Prices Rise Amid Increased Demand for a Range of Goods, Services
By Amara Omeokwe
WASHINGTON -- U.S. consumer prices rose in July on higher costs
for a range of products and services, a sign of firming inflation
as demand for goods rebounded following steep declines earlier in
the coronavirus pandemic.
The consumer-price index -- which measures what consumers pay
for everyday items including groceries, medical care and
electricity -- climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in July, the
Labor Department said Wednesday. The rise was the second in as many
months. The index also rose 0.6% in June, which was seen as a
potential turning point for consumer prices, following declines in
March, April and May amid the pandemic's initial economic
Excluding the often-volatile categories of food and energy,
so-called core prices rose 0.6%, compared with a 0.2% increase in
June, posting its largest month-to-month increase since January
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 0.3%
increase for the overall consumer-price index, and a 0.2% gain for
the core index.
Roughly a quarter of the July increase was due to gasoline
prices, the Labor Department said, which were up 5.6%. Prices for
apparel and used vehicles also rose sharply. Notably, prices for
food fell 0.4%, with grocery costs declining 1.1%, following
significant increases earlier in the pandemic as Americans stayed
The advance in overall consumer prices during July came despite
a month when the U.S. saw a resurgence in coronavirus cases, which
forced some states to put new restrictions in place aimed at
containing the virus. Some states reimposed social distancing
measures and business closures as a result.
The rise in consumer prices last month aligns with an increase
in the producer-price index, a measure of the prices businesses
receive for their goods and services. That index rose a seasonally
adjusted 0.6% in July, the Labor Department reported Tuesday, the
largest monthly rise since October 2018.
Write to Amara Omeokwe at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 12, 2020 09:07 ET (13:07 GMT)
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