WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in July as a big drop in gasoline and other energy prices kept inflation under control.
The Labor Department says the flat reading for overall inflation followed a 0.2 percent gain in June. Energy prices fell by the largest amount in five months. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food, edged up 0.1 percent in July, the smallest increase in four months.
The Federal Reserve has an inflation target of 2 percent annual increases. While core inflation has risen 2.2 percent over the past 12 months, overall inflation is still well below the Fed's target, rising just 0.8 percent in the past 12 months. The Fed has left interest rates unchanged after a single rate hike last December.