Inflation in December was even lower than first reported, the government says


The prices consumers pay in the marketplace rose at an even slower pace than originally reported, according to closely watched revisions the government released Friday.

Revisions to the consumer price index showed that the broad basket of goods and services measured increased 0.2% on the month, less than the originally reported 0.3%, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

While the change is only modest, it helped confirm that inflation was moderating as 2023 ended, giving more leeway to the Federal Reserve to start cutting interest rates later this year.

The revisions are done as a matter of course for the BLS, but garnered extra attention this year after the market reacted sharply to last year’s changes. Indications that inflation in 2022 rose more than anticipated drove Treasury yields higher and sparked worry from investors that the Fed might keep monetary policy more restrictive.

Excluding food and energy, so-called core CPI increased 0.3% for the month, the same as originally reported. Fed policymakers tend to focus more on core measures as they provide a better indication of long-run movements in inflation.

Also, the headline November reading was revised higher, up 0.2% versus the initial 0.1% estimate.

This is breaking news. Please check back here for updates. Reuters contributed to this report.

[colabot6]

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