U.S. consumer prices moderated in May, but sustained increases in housing and health care costs kept underlying inflation supported, which could allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.
The Labor Department said on Thursday its Consumer Price Index increased 0.2 percent last month after rising 0.4 percent in April. In the 12 months through May, the CPI advanced 1.0 percent after rising 1.1 percent in April.
Economists had forecast the CPI gaining 0.3 percent last month and advancing 1.1 percent from a year ago.
The so-called core CPI, which strips out food and energy costs, rose 0.2 percent after a similar gain in April. That took the year-on-year core CPI rise to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent in April.
The Fed has a 2 percent inflation target and tracks an inflation measure which is currently at 1.6 percent. The U.S. central bank on Wednesday kept interest rates unchanged and said it expected inflation to remain below its target through 2017.