U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly slowed in January compared with a year earlier, a new government report showed, adding to signs that inflation isn't a pressing concern as the Federal Reserve refrains from further interest-rate increases to help the economy. 

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis said Friday that its price index for personal consumption expenditures, excluding food and energy, rose 1.8% over the past 12 months, following a 0.1% gain in January.

The year-over-year clip compared with an estimate of 1.9% from the forecasting firm Pantheon Macroeconomics, and was down from 2% in December. 

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