Inflation rises faster than expected in January as high prices persist

Inflation rose more than expected in January thanks to a jump in grocery and housing costs, underscoring the challenge of taming price pressures within the economy.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price of everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rent, rose 0.3% in January from the previous month. Prices climbed 3.1% from the same time last year.

Both of those figures came in higher than the 0.2% monthly increase and 2.9% headline figure forecast by Refinitiv economists.

Other parts of the report indicated that inflation has been slow to retreat. Core prices, which exclude the more volatile measurements of food and energy, climbed 0.4% – the largest monthly increase since April 2023. It rose 3.9% annually. Both of those figures are slightly higher than estimates.

Altogether, the report indicates that while inflation has fallen considerably from a peak of 9.1%, it remains above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.