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Inflation surpassed earnings

April 15, 2012

Consumer prices increased 0.3 percent last month, the department said on Friday. Gasoline prices rose 1.7 percent, a slowing from February when costs at the pump rose more than three times as quickly.

The inflation outstripped wage gains remains. Workers’ earnings fell 0.4 percent in March after adjusting for the increase in prices.

Core inflation, which strips out food and energy prices, climbed 0.2 percent, pushed higher by rising rents, medical care costs and used car prices.

In the 12 months to March, core consumer prices increased 2.3 percent after rising 2.2 percent in February. The persistence of core inflation could affect the Federal Reserve’s maneuvering room for stimulus.

Overall consumer prices rose 2.7 percent compared with a year ago, down from a reading of 2.9 percent in February.

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