US consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in May

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WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. consumer prices increased a slight 0.1 percent in May, as inflation was tempered by lower costs for gasoline, electricity and used cars.

The Labor Department says that the consumer price index rose 1.8 percent during the past year.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.1 percent in May and 2 percent from a year ago.

Inflation has been consistently muted, slightly below or near the Federal Reserve's target of 2 percent even though the economy is poised in July to set the record for the longest expansion in U.S. history.

Falling unemployment rates and a pick-up in wages have done little to push prices higher.

Adjusted for inflation, average hourly earnings have climbed 1.3 percent in the past year.

That same annual figure was up just 0.2 percent in May 2018.