US inflation eases to 8.5% in July as energy costs dip

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US inflation decelerated in July by more than expected, reflecting lower energy prices, which may take some pressure off the Federal Reserve to continue aggressively hiking interest rates.
The consumer price index increased 8. 5% from a year earlier, cooling from the 9. 1% June advance that was the largest in four decades, Labor Department data showed Wednesday. Prices were unchanged from the prior month. A decline in gasoline offset increases in food and shelter costs.
The data may give the Fed some breathing room, and the cooling in gas prices, as well as used cars, offers respite to consumers. But annual inflation remains high at more than 8% and food costs continue to rise, providing little relief for US President Joe Biden and the Democrats ahead of midterm elections.
While a drop in gasoline prices is good news for Americans, their cost of living is still painfully high,…

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