U.S. consumer prices accelerated in August amid a jump in the cost of gasoline and rents, signs of firming inflation that could allow further monetary policy tightening from the Federal Reserve this year.
The Labor Department said on Thursday its Consumer Price index rose 0.4 percent last month after edging up 0.1 percent in July. August's gain as the largest in seven months and lifted the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.9 percent from 1.7 percent in July.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI rising 0.3 percent in August and climbing 1.8 percent year-on-year.
Gasoline prices surged 6.3 percent, the biggest gain since January, after being unchanged in July. Further increases are likely in September after Hurricane Harvey forced temporary closures of refineries. Labor Department officials said it was difficult to say whether Harvey, which slammed Texas towards the end of August, impacted on gasoline prices last month.
Stripping out the volatile food and energy components, consumer prices increased 0.2 percent in August. That followed four straight monthly increases of 0.1 percent.