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Prices paid by U.S. consumers climbed in July at a more moderate pace, though the slowdown was not enough to provide major relief from the cost increases weighing on sentiment and driving policy debate.

The consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.5 percent from June and 5.4 percent from a year ago, according to Labor Department data released Wednesday. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the so-called core CPI rose 0.3 percent from the prior month and 4.3 percent from July 2020.

Price measures of food, energy, shelter, and new vehicles all contributed to the July gain. Airfares and auto insurance costs declined.

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