US inflation decelerated in July by more than expected, reflecting lower energy prices, which may take some pressure off the Federal Reserve to continue aggressively hiking interest rates.
The consumer price index increased 8.5% from a year earlier, cooling from the 9.1% June advance that was the largest in four decades, Labor Department data showed Wednesday. Prices were unchanged from the prior month. A decline in gasoline offset increases in food and shelter costs.
So-called core CPI, which strips out the more volatile food and energy components, rose 0.3% from June and 5.9% from a year ago. The core and overall measures came in below forecast.
US consumer price index, core measure were softer than expected in July
The data may give the Fed some breathing room, and the cooling in gas prices, as well as used cars, offers respite to consumers. But annual inflation remains high at more than 8% and food costs continue to rise, providing little relief for President Joe Biden and the Democrats ahead of midterm elections.