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Glimmer of hope for cash-strapped consumers as inflation slows again to 6.5% from 7.1%: Falling prices for gas and used cars offset uptick in food and rents

Inflation in the US slowed down once again last month, rising at an annual rate of 6.5 percent in a sign of relief for struggling families and businesses.

The Labor Department’s Thursday report on the consumer price index showed inflation still remains uncomfortably high, but has fallen well below its recent peak of 9.1 percent reached in June. 

On a monthly basis, the measure of consumer prices actually decreased from November to December, dropping 0.1 percent on the month thanks largely to falling energy prices.

December’s annual inflation rate of 6.5 percent marked the sixth straight month of decelerating inflation, as well as slowest annual pace for price increases since October 2021. 

Yet there has been no signal from the Fed or any of its voting members that that will happen, despite pockets of weakness that have begun to appear in the wake of its aggressive monetary policy.

The Fed has said repeatedly it plans to raise its key overnight interest rate further, past its current perch sitting in a range of 4.25 percent to 4.50 percent. At the start of 2022, rates were essentially zero.

Developing story, more to follow. 

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