Higher fuel prices push US inflation to its first rise since October

Jessica Morris
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Inflation has started to the pick up in the United States, after fuel prices rose for the time since June last year, adding to broader gains in other sectors.

Figures released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed prices rose by 0.2 per cent month-on-month basis, reversing a 0.7 per cent tumble in January. The annual consumer price index came in at zero having slipped 0.1 per cent in January.

Meanwhile core inflation - which strips out the most volatile sectors like energy and food - rose to 1.7 per cent.

Oil prices peaked at about $106 per barrel in June last year, before falling as low as $45 per barrel in January. They sustained a brief rally at the start of this year, but this stalled after oversupply concerns resurfaced.

Despite today's good news, inflation remains well below the target of two per cent set by the Federal Reserve, which will complicate its decision over when it'll hike interest rates from their historic lows.

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