U.S. Consumer Prices Rose 0.3 Percent in June; Eggs Up 18.3 Percent

WASHINGTON (Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

Consumer prices rose in June for the fifth straight month and posted their first 12-month increase since December, the Labor Department said Friday.

The consumer price index increased 0.3 percent last month. The figure was 0.4 percent in May.

Food prices were a major factor in June’s increase, rising 0.3 percent in large part because of sharply higher egg prices. An outbreak of avian flu pushed egg prices up 18.3 percent last month, the largest jump since 1973.

Overall, food prices rose the most since September.

Gas prices rose 3.4 percent, the second straight monthly increase. Energy prices overall were up 1.7 percent in June.

Shelter, airline tickets and new vehicles also were among the sectors showing price increases.

June’s data continued a recent upward trend in prices after they had declined from November through January. Those decreases were driven by lower gasoline prices.

Rising prices in recent months helped push the annual inflation rate up for the first time this year. Prices rose 0.1 percent for the 12 months ended June 30.

Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, was up 1.8 percent for the same period.