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US consumer prices, fuel, food costs rise

Staff writer |
US consumer prices rose for a fifth straight month in June, pushed higher by a rise in the cost of fuel and food. Prices rose 0.3% last month after increasing by 0.4% in May, according to the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index.

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Continuing price rises are likely to strengthen the case for an increase in US interest rates. However, the year-on-year rate is still only 0.1%, although excluding food and fuel so-called core inflation was 1.8%.

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said this week that a rate rise this year was likely if the economy continued to grow.

Prices at the pump rose 3.4% in June on top of a 10.4% increase in May. Egg prices surged 18.3%, the biggest gain since August 1973.

Other US data on Friday also pointed to a strengthening of the US economy. The Commerce Department said house building jumped by 9.8% in June, while the number of building permits issued rose 7.4% to a near eight-year high.

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