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WASHINGTON — Cheaper energy kept US consumer prices in check last month, despite a big rise in the cost of food, the latest sign that inflation is tame.
The consumer price index rose 0.1 percent in February, matching January’s increase, the Labor Department said Tuesday. In the past 12 months, prices have risen just 1.1 percent, down from 1.6 percent in January and the smallest yearly gain in five months.
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.1 percent last month and 1.6 percent in the past year.