(WASHINGTON) - Higher prices for clothing, medical care and airline fares contributed to a mild 0.2 percent rise in consumer inflation in February.
The advance in the Consumer Price Index, a closely watched gauge of inflation, matched January's increase, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Excluding energy and food prices, the ``core'' rate of inflation rose 0.3 percent in February, following a 0.2 percent rise.
Even with the slight pickup in consumer inflation, falling prices for new car and trucks, computers and home furnishings provided shoppers with some bargains.
In another report, new claims for unemployment insurance fell by a seasonally adjusted 12,000 last week to 371,000, the lowest level in a month, providing further evidence that layoffs are abating as the economy stages a comeback.