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Washington (AFP) — Consumer prices in the United States rose a bare 0.1 percent in July despite strong gains in food costs, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

The slowdown in consumer inflation after three months of faster gains left the year-on-year consumer price index (CPI) up 2.0 percent, a level the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy makers have regarded as non-threatening.

Food prices were up 0.4 percent in the month, continuing a high pace of increases since February which are hitting American shoppers in the wallet. Food costs were 2.5 percent higher than a year ago.

But offsetting that has been a fall in energy prices, with gasoline prices now 0.8 percent down from a year ago.

Less energy and food, both more volatile components of the index, CPI was up 0.1 percent for the month and 1.9 percent over 12 months.

AFP Photo/Frederic J. Brown

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