January 16, 2014 8:45 AM, EST
Consumer Price Index Rises by Most in Six Months

Consumer prices increased by the most in six months in December, the Labor Department reported Jan. 16.

The consumer price index, a key measure of inflation, increased 0.3% in December from the month before. It was the biggest gain since June and followed no change the prior month, Labor said.

Economists’ median forecast matched the rise in the consumer price index, Bloomberg News reported.

Bloomberg attributed the increase in the monthly index to rising fuel prices and rents. The core CPI, which excludes fuel and food, increase 0.1%.

Consumer prices rose 1.5% in 2013, the smallest gain in three years. The gain was 1.7% in 2012.

Economists expect a rise in inflation.

“We’re already at very low levels, and unemployment has been falling,” Michelle Meyer, senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, told Bloomberg. “Our forecast is that it’s a very-slow moving process.”

On average, economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a 0.1% increase in the core index.