WASHINGTON -- Consumer prices increased at a modest pace in February, underscoring that inflation pressures appear to be muted for now.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index increased 0.2 per cent last month, after a sharp 0.5 per cent gain in January. Core prices -- which exclude the volatile food and energy categories -- also climbed 0.2 per cent. Overall consumer prices rose 2.2 per cent in February from a year earlier, while core prices rose 1.8 per cent from a year ago for the third straight month.
Inflation fears have intensified this year after a report last month suggested wages were rising more quickly, which can push up prices. Subsequent data have shown that hourly pay gains remain moderate.
Sluggish pay increases have helped keep Inflation dormant for most of the past decade.