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US June CPI rise biggest in 26 yrs on energy surge

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices in June rose by the biggest amount since 1982 on a continued surge in gasoline prices, adding more weight to an economy struggling through a strained banking system and the worst housing downturn in decades, a government report on Wednesday showed.

The Consumer Price Index, the government's key measure of inflation, advanced 1.1 percent during the month, the biggest monthly rise since June 1982, the Labor Department said. That was well above the 0.7 percent increase economists polled ahead of the report were expecting.

Prices were up 5 percent from a year ago, the biggest year-on-year rise since 1991 the department said. That gain was also considerably higher than the 4.5 percent rise Wall Street economists were expecting.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI rose by a more tame 0.3 percent, but that rise was still higher than the 0.2 percent gain expected.

Energy prices advanced 6.6 percent during the month, reflecting a 10.1 percent surge in gasoline prices as consumers are paying well in excess of $4.00 a gallon. The department said energy costs accounted for roughly two-thirds of the overall monthly increase in consumer prices.

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Zimbabwe's annual rate of inflation has surged to 2,200,000%, official figures have shown.

The figure is the first official assessment of prices in the troubled African nation since February, when the rate of inflation stood at 165,000%.

Zimbabwe, once one of the richest countries in Africa, has descended into economic chaos largely blamed on the policies of President Robert Mugabe.

Mr Mugabe was re-elected last month in a controversial one-man race.

The opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), pulled out of the run-off election, saying its supporters were being attacked and killed.

Rising costs are forcing retailers to increase prices a number of times a day for goods purchased with billion dollar bank notes and the number of people falling into poverty is on the rise.

In May, the central bank issued a 500m Zimbabwe dollar banknote, worth US$2 at the time of issue, to try to ease cash shortages amid the world's highest rate of inflation.

This is in stark contrast with the situation at independence in 1980 when one Zimbabwe dollar was worth more than US$1.

Now that's proper inflation.

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  • 401 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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