U.S. consumer prices increased more than expected in August as rising rents and healthcare costs offset a drop in gasoline prices, pointing to a steady build-up of inflation that could allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.
The Labor Department said on Friday its Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent last month after being unchanged in July. In the 12 months through August, the CPI increased 1.1 percent after advancing 0.8 percent in July.
The so-called core CPI, which strips out food and energy costs, rose 0.3 percent last month, the biggest increase since February, after gaining 0.1 percent in July.
Economists had forecast the CPI nudging up 0.1 percent last month and the core CPI gaining 0.2 percent. The core CPI increased 2.3 percent in the 12 months through August after rising 2.2 percent in the year through July.
U.S. Treasury prices pared gains and U.S. stock futures extended losses after the data. The dollar was stronger against a basket of currencies.
Last month's uptick in inflation is likely to be welcomed by Fed officials when they meet next Tuesday and Wednesday to deliberate on monetary policy.