U.S. inflation steadily firming; labor market strong

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer prices barely rose in June, but the underlying trend continued to point to a steady buildup of inflation pressures that could keep the Federal Reserve on a path of gradual interest rate increases.

FILE PHOTO: People shop in Macy’s Herald Square in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

Other data on Thursday showed first-time applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a two-month low last week as the labor market continues to tighten. The Fed raised interest rates in June for a second time this year and has…

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