The rising cost of rent, gas and groceries pushed the annual inflation rate slightly higher last month.

Consumer prices in July rose 3.2% from a year ago. The annual inflation rate inched up after falling steadily for the last 12 months.

Despite the uptick in inflation, it's still a modest acceleration and was within what analysts had expected.

On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.2% between June and July, with rising rents accounting for most of that monthly increase.

Gasoline and grocery prices also rose during the month, although gasoline is still cheaper than it was a year ago.

Stripping out volatile food and energy prices, so-called "core inflation" was 4.7% for the 12 months ending in July. That's down slightly from the 4.8% seen in June.

Meanwhile, the price of new and used cars was down last month but shelter costs rose by 0.4%.

Although inflation has been broadly easing, it remains well above the Federal Reserve's target of 2%.

The Fed will get one more monthly inflation check before its next decision on interest rates in September.

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