US consumer prices rose 2.9 pct, leaving Americans worse off

FILE- In this May 30, 2018, file photo, a shopper walks through the updated cosmetic department at a Target store in San Antonio. On Friday, Aug. 10,

FILE- In this May 30, 2018, file photo, a shopper walks through the updated cosmetic department at a Target store in San Antonio. On Friday, Aug. 10,

FILE- In this June 14, 2018, file photo,  gasoline prices are displayed on a pump at Sheetz along the Interstate 85 and 40 corridor near Burlington, N

FILE- In this June 14, 2018, file photo, gasoline prices are displayed on a pump at Sheetz along the Interstate 85 and 40 corridor near Burlington, N

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices climbed 2.9 percent in July from a year earlier, a rate of inflation that suggests Americans are earning less than a year ago despite an otherwise solid economy.

The Labor Department said Friday that the consumer price index ticked up 0.2 percent in July. Annual inflation matched the 2.9 percent pace from June, which had been the highest level since February 2012. Core prices, which exclude the volatile food and energy categories, rose 0.2 percent in June and 2.4 percent from a year earlier.

Most of July's increase in consumer prices came from higher housing costs. Prices for energy, medical care and apparel slipped in July, while food expenses rose slightly.

Adjusted for inflation, average weekly earnings have fallen 0.1 percent in the past 12 months.