U.S. Inflation edges higher
Inflation firmed and consumers stepped up spending in January, likely leaving the Federal Reserve on track to keep raising interest rates in coming months to cool price pressures. The personal-consumption expenditures price index—the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation—rose 5.4% in January from a year earlier, up from 5.3% in December, the Commerce Department said Friday. The core PCE-price index, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 4.7%, also ticking up from December. The central bank aims for 2% annual inflation. Spending by U.S. households rose a seasonally adjusted 1.8% in January from the prior month, the largest increase in nearly two years, and a reversal from a small decrease in December.