The consumer price index increased 0.3% in June after a 0.4% gain the prior month, matching median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the Labor Department showed.
The core measure, which excludes volatile food and fuel costs, increased 0.1%, less than projected.
Inflation has failed to get a toehold as slowing global demand has prevented companies from exercising pricing power. If prices remain in check, Fed policy makers can keep interest rates low well into 2015.
“Inflation, at least for the moment, isn’t a problem,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. “We had a little bit of a scare, a minute of worry for a while there, but it’s basically going away.”
Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from a 0.2% drop to an increase of 0.4%.
The increase in the core gauge was the smallest since February and followed a 0.3% gain in May. Economists had forecast a 0.2% increase, according to the survey median.
Consumer prices rose 2.1% in the 12 months ended June, the same as in May. The core measure climbed 1.9% from June 2013, after a 2% increase in the prior 12-month period.