U.S. core consumer inflation moderates in July, annual CPI up 5.4%

The numbers: According to Tuesday's Labor Department report, July saw a 0.5% increase in the consumer price index.The Wall Street Journal polled economists and estimated that there would be a 0.5% increase.Inflation in the twelve months ending in July was 5.4%. The rate of inflation in July was 5.4% for the second consecutive month, an increase of 20 percent.The closely monitored measure of inflation which excludes volatile food and fuel also increased 0.3%. This was below the 0.4% expected increase. From 4.5%, the 12-month rate fell to 4.3%. This was a 29 year high.Details: After a 1.5% increase in June, energy prices increased 1.6% in July. After a 0.8% increase in June, food prices increased 0.7%. The measure of housing was the owners equivalent rent. It rose 0.3%.Big picture: Federal Reserve officials remain patient and consider the unexpected gains in inflation to be temporary. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty.Fed officials want the central bank's September announcement that it will slow down bond purchases later in the autumn.