U.S. CPI was flat in January with the core up 0.2%
U.S. CPI was flat in January with the core up 0.2%. Those following an unchanged reading in December (revised from -0.1%) and a 0.2% increase in the ex-food and energy component. The three decimal readings were -0.020%% and 0.240%, respectively. On a 12-month basis, headline CPI slowed to 1.6% y/y versus 1.9% y/y, with the core steady at 2.2% y/y. Energy prices fell 3.1% after the prior -2.6% (revised from -3.5%). This is a third straight monthly drop. Services costs edged up 0.2% from 0.3%. Housing costs rose 0.2% versus 0.3% (revised from 0.4%), with owners' equivalent rent up 0.3% from 0.2%. Food and beverage costs were up 0.2% from 0.3% (revised from 0.4%). Apparel prices climbed 1.1% with the Spring line coming in, from unchanged. Transportation declined 1.3% from -1.5% (revised from -2.0%) thanks in part to weakness in gas prices. Medical care costs were 0.2% higher from 0.3%. Education rose 0.2% versus 0.1%. Recreation was up 0.3% from 0.5% (revised from 0.6%). Commodities declined -0.3% from -0.5%. Other goods, services were up 0.2% from unchanged (revised from -0.1%), with tobacco prices rising 0.3% from 0.2% (revised from -0.4%). Real average hourly earnings climbed to a 1.7% y/y pace from 1.3% previously (revised from 1.1%).