WASHINGTON – Consumer prices were up 0.2% in January, after an unchanged reading in December a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy, were also up 0.2% for the month, after rising 0.1% in December.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had projected that CPI would climb 0.3%, but they hit the mark in predicting that core consumer prices would rise 0.2%.

The increased CPI level for January reflected a 0.2% climb in both consumer food prices and energy prices.

Consumer prices were up 2.9% for 12 months ending in January, and core prices rose 2.3% over that period. That represents the largest year-over-year core price increase since the 12 months ending September 2008.

Meanwhile, real average hourly earnings were unchanged in January after rising 0.1% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the department said in a separate release.


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