PRICES RISE: Consumers paid more for gas, food and other necessities in July. That pushed up the Consumer Price Index 0.5 percent, the most since March.

INFLATION MUTED: Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core consumer prices rose only 0.2 percent.

PRICES MAY PEAK: Economists don't expect inflation to rise much further, and some expect it will drop next year. Gas prices have declined this month. And retailers can only raise prices so much when unemployment is high and the economy is weak.