WASHINGTON — The U.S. January consumer price index was up 0.4%, and core CPI rose 0.3% — unrounded up 0.3106% — both higher than expected and bad for bonds, although most of the admittedly widespread price gains appear to be related to start-of-year book price postings that may not hold in a weak economy.

In the core, apparel was up 0.4% — unadjusted down 2.1% — airfares rose 0.8%, drugs grew 0.7%, tobacco increased 1.1%, tuition climbed 0.6%, and hotels rose 1.1%, most of which seem to be in non-necessities. This is another reason that higher price lists might not hold. The last time the core CPI was up 0.3% was in June 2006.

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