US inflation:  In January consumer prices rose 5.4% over the previous year.

USA: A report released on Friday by the Commerce Department stated that consumer prices in the US increased by 0.6% month over month in January after increasing by 0.2% in December. Prices rose 5.4% more than they did in December on an annual basis, to an increase of 5.3%.

In the meantime, the personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, increased by 5.4% from a year earlier. Core inflation, which doesn't include wildly fluctuating food and energy prices, increased by 4.7% from one year ago.

Forecasters' expectations were exceeded by the price readings for January, dash hopes that the Fed might decide to halt its rate-hike campaign. The regulator has introduced eight significant interest rate increases since last March in an effort to control prices.

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Officials from the Federal Reserve said this week that persistently high inflation is caused by a complex web of factors and is unlikely to slow down in the near future.

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Governor Philip Jefferson said in remarks for a panel that "the inflationary forces impinging on the US economy at present represent a complex mixture of temporary and more long-lasting elements that defy simple, parsimonious explanation."

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"The persistent mismatch between labour supply and demand, along with the significant share of labour costs in the services sector, point to high labour costs,"

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