US inflation data

WASHINGTON: US consumer prices fell in February, led lower by another sharp decline in energy prices, but core inflation rose firmly, official data showed on Wednesday. The Commerce Department’s consumer price index (CPI) fell 0.2 per cent in February, in line with expectations, after staying flat in January. Overall energy prices dropped six per cent, twice as much in the prior two months. Gasoline prices were down 13 per cent. Food prices edged up 0.2 per cent from January. Stripping out food and energy, the more indicative core CPI rose 0.3 per cent in February, the same as in the prior month. Year-over-year, consumer prices were up one per cent and core prices 2.3 per cent, above the Federal Reserve’s two per cent inflation target.