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Consumers hit harder in June

Consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 12.4 percent in June, slightly faster than in May, largely because of rapidly rising housing costs, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The June increase showed a slight speedup in inflation from an annual rate of 10.9 percent in May. But this still represented a big improvement over the 18 percent rate during the early months of this year.

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Four-fifths of the increase in inflation for June from May came from housing, and that was because recently falling mortgage rates have not yet shown up in the consumer price index.

The index stood at 247.6 in June, which means goods and services that cost $ 100 in 1967 now cost $247.6.

Gasoline prices, which rose at an annual rate of 105.7 percent during the first three months of this year, declined 6.2 percent during the second three months.

Food and beverages rose 0.5 percent on a monthly basis, continuing their upward trend this year.