You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

US consumer prices rose 0.1 percent last month


By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER

Associated Press

U.S. consumer prices barely rose last month as a sharp increase in energy costs was offset by cheaper clothing, cars and air fares. The figures indicate inflation remains mild.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the consumer price index rose just 0.1 percent in January, down from a 0.2 percent gain in December. Prices have risen 1.6 percent in the past 12 months. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices also rose just 0.1 percent last month and 1.6 percent in the past year.

The year-over-year increase in core prices was the smallest in seven months.

The “mild uptick … confirms the fact that inflationary pressures remain well contained,” Martin Schwerdtfeger, an economist at TD Bank, said in a note to clients.

The small increase occurred even though cold weather pushed up the cost of natural gas, electricity and other home energy sources by the most in more than five years.

Yet other items fell or barely rose: Food prices increased just 0.1 percent, and the cost of men’s clothing fell by the most in nearly five years. New and used car and truck prices also dropped, and airline fares declined 2.2 percent.

Inflation has been held back by sluggish growth and a tough job market, which makes it harder for retailers and other businesses to raise prices.

Consumer prices rose just 1.5 percent in 2013, down from 1.8 percent in 2012. Both figures are below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target.

While most Americans prefer lower prices, economists warn that super-low inflation may slow economic growth. It can lead consumers to postpone purchases and makes inflation-adjusted interest rates higher, potentially discouraging borrowing.

Low inflation has enabled the Federal Reserve to pursue extraordinary stimulus programs to try and boost economic growth.

The Fed is now trying to unwind some of that stimulus. It cut its monthly bond purchases to $65 billion this month, from $75 billion in January and $85 billion last year. The bond purchases are aimed at lowering long-term interest rates to encourage more borrowing and spending.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations continue over health plans
Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations continue over health plans

Contract talks between the region’s largest health system and insurer United Health Care remain at an impasse as a deadline approaches that could jeopardize the health plans of up to 70,000 local residents. Premier Health and UnitedHealthcare, one of the largest group health insurers in the area, have been at an impasse in talks to renew their...
Dayton-area event will feature 500 small businesses
Dayton-area event will feature 500 small businesses

Ohio’s largest small-business-to-government-contracting event is set to happen Wednesday, the Ohio Development Services Agency said. The 2017 Ohio Business Matchmaker will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Wright State University’s Ervin J. Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Fairborn. RELATED: Defense contractor opens new office...
Honda supplier gets state tax credit to bring 85 jobs to Springfield
Honda supplier gets state tax credit to bring 85 jobs to Springfield

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority unanimously approved today a seven-year tax credit for Topre America Corp.’s new Springfield plant. The tax credits are expected to help the company create at least 85 new jobs and generate more than $3 million in new payroll. RELATED: Honda supplier to add 85 jobs, invest $55M in Springfield plant Topre is a Honda...
RECALL: Lay’s chips recalled for potential Salmonella contamination
RECALL: Lay’s chips recalled for potential Salmonella contamination

Frito-Lay has voluntarily recalled two of its brand of snacks, including its Jalapeño-flavored potato chips. The Jalapeno Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips and Jalapeño Flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked potato have been recalled due to a potential presence of Salmonella in the seasoning. Salmonella can cause serious...
Sam’s Club introduces 300 new products, including wine
Sam’s Club introduces 300 new products, including wine

Sam’s Club has relaunched its private brand, adding more than 300 new products this year. The warehouse club revamped its Member’s Mark brand, which represents $10 billion in sales for the division of Walmart. The new product line covers everything from food products to general merchandise. In addition to redesigning the brand’s labels...
More Stories