The cost of living in the U.S. rose in June for the fifth consecutive month, paced by increases in rents that are helping nudge inflation toward the Federal Reserve’s goal.
The consumer-price index climbed 0.3 percent after rising 0.4 percent in May, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. That matched the median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Costs over the past 12 months increased for the first time this year.
Rents climbed by the most in almost two years and will probably keep increasing as more Americans turn to living in apartments rather than owning a home. At the same time, modest global growth and a strong dollar is projected to prevent inflation from actually meeting the Fed’s 2 percent target this year and probably next.
Prices rose 0.l percent over the past 12 months, the first year-to-year gain since December, after being little changed in the year ended in May.
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Economists’ projections in the Bloomberg survey ranged from a 0.1 percent drop to a 0.4 percent advance.
Excluding food and fuel, the so-called core index climbed 0.2 percent in June after rising 0.1 percent the prior month. The index was up 1.8 percent from June 2014, after climbing 1.7 percent in the year through May.
About two-thirds of the increase in the core rate was caused by rising rent. Rents of primary residences climbed 0.4 percent, the most since August 2013. A category designed to track the rental value of owner-occupied homes also rose 0.4 percent, the most since October 2006.