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U.S. Consumers Prices Unchanged in July

They stayed high despite tumbling gasoline prices

In July, U.S. consumer prices were unchanged due to a sharp drop in the cost of gasoline, delivering the first notable sign of relief for weary Americans who have watched inflation climb over the past two years.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was flat last month after advancing 1.3 percent in June, the Labor Department said on Wednesday in a closely watched report that nevertheless showed underlying inflation pressures remain elevated as the Federal Reserve mulls whether to embrace another super-sized interest rate hike in September.

The reading was the largest month-on-month deceleration of price increases since 1973 and followed on the heels of a roughly 20 percent drop in the cost of gasoline since mid-June. Prices at the pump spiked in the first half of this year due to the war in Ukraine, hitting a record-high average of more than $5 per gallon on June 14, according to motorist advocacy group AAA.

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