Inflation rose slightly in January as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell says the fight against inflation is far from over. Pool photo by Brendan Smialowski/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Inflation rose in January, with housing and energy prices being the main contributors, the Labor Department announced Tuesday.
The consumer price index rose 0.5% in January, translating to an annual gain of 6.4%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for respective increases of 0.4% and 6.2%, CNBC reported.
The biggest culprit was rising shelter costs, which accounted for nearly half of the increase at 0.7% for the month and 7.9% from a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Energy costs were up up 2% and 8.7%, respectively, while food costs rose by 0.5% and 10.1%, respectively.
The report comes a week after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the battle against inflation was far from over, despite the progress that had been made.
During an appearance at the Economic Club of Washington, Powell said he expects to make significant progress on inflation this year, but the Fed's work is far from done.
"It's not going to be, we don't think, smooth. It's going to be bumpy," Powell said.
The Fed chair said more rate increases will be coming and policies will continue to be restrictive for some time, even as benchmark reports indicate economic recovery.
Powell was asked by David Rubenstein, president of the Economic Club, why the Federal Reserve wants to see the rate of inflation brought down to 2% instead of 3%, which it has typically hovered around. Powell said 2% is the international standard.
While inflation continues to remain, some services did see a decrease in Tuesday's report. Medical care services fell 0.7%, airline fares were down 2.1% and used vehicle prices dropped 1.9%.
President Joe Biden said in a statement Tuesday that while there was some good news, there was still work to do.
"There is still more work to do as we make this transition to more steady, stable growth, and there could be setbacks along the way," Biden said.