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Inflation and Prices

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose just 0.7% in December (annual rate), bringing the yearly increase to a mere 1.7%, the lowest posting since 1986’s 1.2% gain. Energy prices were substantial contributors, but if the food and energy components are excluded, inflation was still 0.4 percentage point lower than in 1996. While most price measures were down, the median CPI—an estimate of the economy’s underlying inflationary trend—ended the year higher, at 2.9%.

Suggested citation: “Inflation and Prices,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 98-02, pp. 08-09, 02.01.1998.

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