WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — A measure of inflation that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve slipped last month in a sign that price pressures continue to ease.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday that prices rose 0.3% from January to February, decelerating from a 0.4% increase the previous month in a potentially encouraging trend for President Joe Biden’s re-election bid.

Compared with 12 months earlier, though, prices rose 2.5% in February, up slightly from a 2.4% year-over-year gain in January.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, last month’s “core” prices suggested lower inflation pressures. These prices rose 0.3% from January to February, down from 0.5% the previous month. And core prices rose just 2.8% from 12 months earlier — the lowest such figure in nearly three years — down from 2.9% in January.

Economists consider core prices to be a better gauge of the likely path of future inflation.

Friday’s report showed that a sizable jump in energy prices — up 2.3% — boosted the overall prices of goods by 0.5% in February. By contrast, the spending on services —  ranging from hotel rooms and restaurant meals to healthcare and concert tickets — slowed to a 0.3% increase, from a 0.6% rise in January.

Annual inflation, as measured by the Fed’s preferred gauge, tumbled in 2023 after having peaked at 7.1% in mid-2022. Supply chain bottlenecks eased, reducing the costs of materials, and wage growth settled down.

Still, inflation remains stubbornly above the Fed’s 2% annual target, and there is public discontent with the impact that higher prices had on America’s household budgets.

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