Quoted – Rising energy prices lead to slight bump in January consumer prices

Historical chart of the U.S. federal funds rat...
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Rising energy prices lead to slight bump in January consumer prices

“I think what you’re seeing is a natural, gradual number, nothing dramatic and nothing very surprising. It was right around what most people expected,” said Scott Testa, an economics professor at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.

As the economy climbs out of a recession and short-term interest rates remain at historic lows, much attention is being paid to indicators of inflation.

Testa said the CPI “shows that the typical consumer was not being squeezed. Seventy percent of the economy is based on consumer spending, so numbers like this, that would give consumers an advantage for spending, I think are encouraging.”

Friday’s CPI increase was minimal as compared to the 1.4 percent jump in the Producer Price Index, another inflation measure focused on prices at the wholesale level. According to Testa, the divergence isn’t very significant.

“I’d be more concerned if both numbers are dramatically up. I take it with a grain of salt when looking at one specific set of numbers over a short period of time.”

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=157639

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