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consumer prices fell in February, dragged by another steep drop in energy prices. However, core inflation managed to tick higher, led by the biggest jump in clothing costs in seven years.

Consumer prices edged down 0.2 per cent last month after no change in January and a small decline in December, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve is closely watching inflation, which has been stuck at low levels, to determine when to raise interest rates further. The 12 month rise in core prices is above the Fed target for annual price increases of 2 per cent. wholesale jerseys However, the modest 1 per cent overall price gain over the past year is still well below the Fed target. economist for Capital Economics, said the rise in core inflation suggests that the Fed will soon need to start raising rates to keep inflation from climbing too quickly.

faster than anticipated rise in core inflation will force the Fed to raise interest rates faster than the markets expect, Murphy said. think the Fed will resume tightening in June. Fed boosted its key policy rate by a quarter point in December, the first increase in nearly a decade. But it left rates unchanged in January.

Analysts expect no change later Wednesday after the Fed wraps up its two day policy meeting. Many economists believe policymakers will also pass up a chance to raise rates in April but will move rates up by a quarter point in June and another quarter point in December.

For February, energy prices dropped 6 per cent, led by a 13 per cent plunge in gasoline pump prices, the fourth consecutive month they have declined.

Food costs rose a modest 0.2 per cent in February and are up just 0.9 per cent over the past year.

Outside of food and energy, the 0.3 per cent rise in core inflation was led by a 1.6 per cent jump in clothing costs, the largest increase since February 2009.

US and UK ‘on same economic page’

Mr Obama praised the PM for being “prepared to make difficult decisions on behalf of his vision for the country” and said the US/UK special relationship was “built on a rock solid foundation and is only going to get stronger in the years to come”. There had been expectations of tensions between European states and the US at Toronto after Mr Obama’s warning last week that over hasty removal of fiscal stimulus programmes risked tipping the world economy back into recession.”We have long term debts that have to be dealt with,” he said. “There are going to be differentiated responses between the two countries because of our different positions, but we are aiming at the same direction, which is long term sustainable growth that enables people to work.”Mr Cameron said: “We are aiming at the same target, which is world growth and stability, but those countries with big deficits like ours have to take action in order to keep that level of confidence in the economy which is absolutely vital for growth.”On Afghanistan, Mr Obama said: “We are convinced we have the right strategy to provide the time and space for the Afghan government to build up capacity in the next several months and years.”His comments came after the G8 group of major powers issued a call for Afghan security forces to take increasing control of the country from Nato led forces within the next five years. http://www.cheapjerseys6vm5.top The meeting between the two men took place as the USA took on Ghana at the World Cup, and the White House said Mr Obama had managed to catch a few moments of the start of the game.He and Mr Cameron made good on a wager that they struck on the eve of England’s clash with the US team when they agreed that whichever of them backed the losing side would buy a beer for the other. As the game ended in a draw, Mr Obama presented the PM with a bottle of Goose Island 312 from his home town of Chicago, while Mr Cameron gave the president a bottle of Hobgoblin from the Wychwood brewery in his Oxfordshire constituency of Witney.Mr Obama joked: “I advised him that in America we drink our beer cold, so he has to put this in the refrigerator before he drinks it.” The president looked rather uncertain when Mr Cameron responded that he should drink his English ale warm.Click the Adblock/Adblock Plus icon, which is to the right of your address bar.On Adblock click “Don’t run on pages on this domain”.If you are Private Browsing in Firefox, “Tracking Protection” may cause the adblock notice to show. It can be temporarily disabled by clicking the “shield” icon in the address bar.