America

Consumer Prices Up 0.4 Percent; Jobless Claims Rise By 25,000

Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in January from December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. Higher food and energy costs accounted for much of the increase. Excluding those sectors, prices were up 0.2 percent.

Over the past year, BLS adds, prices rose 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, after dropping sharply the previous week, first-time claims for unemployment insurance bounced sharply higher last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported. It says that:

"In the week ending Feb. 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 410,000, an increase of 25,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 385,000. The 4-week moving average was 417,750, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 416,000."

Update at 10:15 a.m. ET: The private Conference Board says its leading economic index rose 0.1 percent in January — a slight gain, but still an indication that the economy should keep growing in coming months.

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