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Inflation ticked higher last month, reversing recent progress

New York CNN  —  It’s not a Good Friday for the Federal Reserve. The central bank’s preferred inflation gauge, the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index, was up 2.5% for the 12 months that ended in February, a faster pace than January’s 2.4% rise in prices. The Commerce Department data released Friday means the Fed is even further from achieving its goal of 2% inflation. Central bankers will likely take some solace in the core PCE index that excludes energy and food. That index slowed slightly to 2.8% from the 2.9% annual rate seen in January. And, on a monthly basis, it slowed to 0.3% from 0.5% in January.