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    Consumer Prices Rise 6.4% in January, Shelter Costs Reach Record High


    Consumer prices rose 6.4% in January compared to the same time last year, cooling slightly from the 6.5% rate in December.[0] The month-to-month inflation rate was also up 0.5%, according to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released Tuesday morning.[1] Core CPI, which excludes food and fuel prices, rose 0.4% for the month and 5.6% year over year.[2]

    The disinflationary process has begun, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said earlier this month, as the annual inflation rate peaked at 9.1% in June.[3] But the CPI report shows the central bank still has work to do, as the inflation rate still remains far above the Fed’s 2% target.[4]

    Food prices, including food away from home, were particularly hot in January, increasing 10.1% over the last year.[5] Some of the food categories that posted elevated levels of inflation include breakfast cereal (+15.0% Y/Y), bakery products (+15.4%), milk (+11.0), carbonated drinks (+14.3%), margarine (+44%), and bread (+14.9%).[6] Prices for meat were up only 2.2% year-over-year, with beef and veal prices actually dropping.[6]

    The expense of shelter, encompassing rent and owning a home, rose by 7.9%.[7] The speed of this rate is the fastest it has been since 1982.[5] Rent prices have hit another new high, rising 8%.[5] Rising shelter costs accounted for about half the monthly increase.[8]

    In an effort to curb rising costs, the Federal Reserve has upped borrowing rates from near-zero to a target range of 4.5% to 4.75% in less than a year.[9] At the last policy meeting, Fed chair Jerome Powell announced a smaller 25-basis-point rate increase, yet he cautioned that rates may have to remain at a higher level for a longer period, due to data indicating a robust labor market.[1]

    Revisions to the CPI data show that inflation is cooling less than previously thought.[10] The Federal Reserve's policy outlook remains unchanged despite the recent Consumer Price Index report.[11] The Federal Reserve appears poised to raise its interest rate by a quarter point in both March and May, seemingly erring on the side of making monetary policy too restrictive.[11]

    0. “Inflation Fell To 6.4% In January—But Is Still Worse Than Economists Expected As Rent, Food And Gas Prices Keep Rising” Forbes, 14 Feb. 2023,

    1. “Inflation is higher than expected at 6.4%, with the ‘most important' measure remaining elevated” CNBC, 14 Feb. 2023,

    2. “Consumer prices rise at faster pace in January” Axios, 14 Feb. 2023,

    3. “US CPI climbed 6.4% in January as inflation is still high” Business Insider, 14 Feb. 2023,

    4. “Inflation rose 6.4% in January” Fox Business, 13 Feb. 2023,

    5. “January inflation hit 6.4%, missing analysts' expectations for a faster slowdown” NBC News, 14 Feb. 2023,

    6. “Food inflation is still running double digits – watch these stocks for pricing power” Seeking Alpha, 14 Feb. 2023,

    7. “Inflation ticks down to 6.4% even as January prices climbed”, 14 Feb. 2023,

    8. “Inflation rose 0.5% in January, more than expected and up 6.4% from a year ago” CNBC, 14 Feb. 2023,

    9. “U.S. inflation slowed slightly in January – Labor Department By”, 14 Feb. 2023,–labor-department-3002904

    10. “CPI Report Today Live: Inflation Cooled to 6.4% in January” The Wall Street Journal, 14 Feb. 2023,

    11. “CPI Inflation Comes In Hot, Keeping Fed On Guard” Investor's Business Daily, 14 Feb. 2023,

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