U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in August as healthcare costs recorded their biggest gain in 32-1/2 years, pointing to a steady build-up of inflation that could allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.
The cost of living last month was also pushed up by sustained increases in rents. The uptick in inflation is likely to be welcomed by Fed officials when they gather next week to deliberate on monetary policy, though a rate hike is not expected at that meeting.
"The economy may not be firing on all cylinders, but growth is enough to spark a little more inflation than we thought. The Fed decision is going down to the wire," said Chris Rupkey," chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.