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Economic Report: CPI surges 0.5% in January, triggers fresh worries about rising inflation

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Rising prices, or inflation, is giving Wall Street the jitters. And if that keeps up, Main Street is going to feet it, too.

The numbers: The consumer-price index leaped 0.5% in January to mark the biggest increase in five months, adding to recent worries about rising inflation. The cost of rent, clothes, gasoline, health care and auto insurance all rose.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.4% increase.

Higher consumer prices in January, however, didn’t substantially alter the overall picture on inflation. The increase in the CPI over the past 12 months remained unchanged at 2.1%.

After stripping out volatile gas and food, the more closely followed core rate of inflation rose 0.3% last month.

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