WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumers paid more for gas, food and clothes last month, pushing prices up by the most since the spring.
Over the past 12 months, prices have risen 3.6 percent. That's equal to the 12-month increase in May and June. But core prices over the past 12 months have gone up 1.8 percent -- the largest increase in two years.
Clothing prices rose 1.2 percent in July. That was the third straight increase, reflecting higher cotton prices. Over the past 12 months, clothing costs have risen 3.1 percent, the largest annual increase since July 1992.
Higher rents and pricier hotel rooms have pushed the cost of housing up by the most in three years.
Food prices rose 0.4 percent. The cost of meat, dairy, coffee and fruits and vegetables all increased.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that core wholesale prices rose 0.4 percent in July, the most in six months. That's twice the increase in core consumer prices. The difference suggests that retailers are reluctant to pass on all their higher costs to consumers. That could restrain inflation going forward.