ECONOMY

US consumer prices rise 0.3 percent on higher gasoline costs; core inflation up 0.2 percent

In this photo taken June 12, 2015, shopper Julia Esquivel picks onions at a local grocery store in the Little Havana area of Miami. The Labor Department reports on consumer prices for June on Friday, July 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

In this photo taken June 12, 2015, shopper Julia Esquivel picks onions at a local grocery store in the Little Havana area of Miami. The Labor Department reports on consumer prices for June on Friday, July 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)  (The Associated Press)

Rising gasoline prices pushed inflation up modestly in June.

The Labor Department says its consumer price index rose 0.3 percent last month. Prices at the pump rose 3.4 percent in June on top of a 10.4 percent increase in May. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation rose 0.2 percent last month.

Overall consumer prices rose just 0.1 percent the past year, core prices 1.8 percent. Gasoline prices are down 23.3 percent over the last year; they hit bottom in January, then rebounded.

Inflation is running below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target. But Fed chair Janet Yellen told Congress this week that the central bank is likely to lift short-term interest rates later this year. The rate the Fed controls has been at zero since December 2008.