Make us your home page
Instagram

Sharpest jump in consumer prices in four years could trigger interest rate hikes

WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer prices rose in January at the fastest pace in nearly four years, strengthening the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.

The Labor Department said Wednesday consumer prices rose 0.6 percent last month, most since February 2013 and twice what economists were expecting. A 7.8 percent jump in gasoline prices accounted for almost half the increase. Stripping out volatile food and energy prices, consumer inflation rose 0.3 percent.

Food prices rose in January for the first time in seven months. Grocery prices were unchanged, but the cost of eating out rose 0.4 percent. The price of clothing, new cars, auto insurance and air fares all rose by 0.8 percent or more in January.

Overall, consumer prices rose 2.5 percent from a year earlier, most since March 2012. Core inflation rose 2.3 percent over the last 12 months.

After remaining low in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 Great Recession, inflation is running above the Fed's 2 percent annual target.

The Fed left a key interest rate unchanged at its Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting. It raised rates in December for only the second time in a decade. Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday told a Senate committee that the central bank will likely resume raising rates in the next few months.

But with uncertainties surrounding President Donald Trump's proposals on taxes, spending and trade, Yellen said the Fed still wants to keep assessing the economy.

Sharpest jump in consumer prices in four years could trigger interest rate hikes 02/15/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 10:29am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. SOCom seeks civilian drone pilots to develop new technology through ThunderDrone

    Macdill

    TAMPA — For the last three years, Nicole Abbett has been using drones as part of her photography business, with clients like the city of Tampa and construction companies.

    Josh Newby, 31, Palm Harbor, of Tampa Drones fly's a drone in England Brothers park, Pinellas Park, 8/25/16. As drone popularity increases as a hobby and business, local governments are navigating a legal grey area- where, when, and how should drone flights be allowed?
  2. New apartment complex delivers unique floor plans



    Business

    RIVERVIEW — A new luxury apartment community has opened in the Progress Village area touting itself as a distinct living option just 10 miles from downtown Tampa.

    Alta at Magnolia Park dubs its new apartment community, that opened earlier this year in Riverview, a modern and distinct option for living just 10 miles from downtown Tampa.
  3. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  4. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  5. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.