Consumer prices slowed in August, rising by a slight 0.1%, reflecting a big drop in the cost of gasoline and other energy products.
The Labor Department says the tiny increase in its consumer price index followed a much bigger 0.3% rise in July which had been driven by a jump in energy prices. With energy costs falling in August for a third month out of the past four, the overall price increase slowed leaving consumer prices rising a modest 1.7% over the past year.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.3% last month and 2.4% over the past year.
The Federal Reserve has worried that inflation has been rising too slowly, citing this issue as one of the reasons it cut interest rates in July.