US annual inflation slows less than forecast in January

<strong>US annual inflation slows less than forecast in January</strong>

U.S. consumer prices inflation slowed in January to 6.4% from a year ago, compared to 6.5% in December, data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday showed.

Inflation continued to cool for a seventh consecutive month, resuming its slowdown from a four-decade high of 9.1% last June, yet analysts predicted a stronger retreat to 6.2%, noting that was the smallest annual increase since the period ending October 2021.

On the monthly basis, the CPI edged up 0.5%, moving in line with forecasts, following a 0.1% fall in December.

Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose 5.6% in January from a year earlier, marking the smallest 12-month surge since December 2021. That was higher than economists’ projections of 5.4%.

Still, there are concerns that the Federal Reserve would stick to its tightening path on interest rates, especially after the latest hawkish rhetoric from a slew of Fed speakers.

Later in the day, eyes will focus on any comments from FOMC members Lorie Logan, Patrick Harker and John Williams.

Markets are pricing U.S. rates to peak at around 5.2% in July, while options trades show some investors are expecting a peak rate of 6% by September.

After the release of the data, gold prices sharply fluctuated, but with more downside tilt, amid bets the Fed would keep rates higher for longer to rein in inflation. Gold plunged below key support at $1850 after setting a new session high at $1870, where key support levels are located at $1834 and $1810 respectively.