U.S. consumer prices edged up in August as a surge in medical care offset flat readings for food and energy.

The Labor Department says consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in August after no change in July. Core inflation, which excludes the volatile categories of food and energy, rose 0.3 percent. It was the biggest monthly increase since February. The climb in core inflation was led by a record jump in drug prices and the biggest rise in doctor and hospital charges in a quarter-century.

Over the past 12 months, core inflation is up 2.3 percent but overall inflation has risen a more moderate 1.1 percent, still well below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target for annual increases in inflation.