NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Consumer prices rose a bit faster in July, according to a government report issued Friday.
The Labor Department reported that the consumer price index, the broad measure of prices paid by consumers, rose 0.2 percent in the month. That was in line with the average forecast of analysts surveyed by Briefing.com, as well as the rise reported in June.
Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called "core-CPI" rose 0.2 percent, compared with the forecast of a 0.1 percent rise from Briefing.com and the unchanged reading in June.
The readings Friday follow a report Thursday that also showed overall wholesale prices up in line with forecasts with a 0.1 percent gain, while wholesale prices excluding food and energy gained slightly more than expected by economists, rising 0.2 percent.
Reports on wholesale and consumer prices have gotten more attention of economists and investors recently. After years of worrying about the threat of inflation, the Federal Reserve and others have voiced greater concern lately about the threat that lower prices could lead to deflation, a trend of falling prices that could hit corporate profits and the economy. So slightly higher than expected price readings could be seen as a sign of strength for the economy.
Some key sectors showed modest price increases. Food and beverage prices rose only 0.1 percent, while apparel prices were unchanged from July. But some other sectors showed jumps in prices -- energy reflected a 0.4 percent gain, while medical care prices rose 0.5 percent.