The overall consumer price index for June matched the average estimate of economists, increasing 0.2% before seasonal adjustments, but the core rate was a bit hotter than expected. The Labor Department said Wednesday that consumer prices excluding food and energy costs rose 0.3% last month. The consensus forecast had been for a 0.2% advance on the so-called core rate as well as the headline number. A 0.9% decline in energy costs was responsible for putting the total index below the core PPI. Year over year, the CPI was up 4.3%, and the core index was higher by 2.6%. After the report, financial futures were pricing in greater odds of another Federal Reserve rate hike next month. Fed policymakers have raised the fed funds target rate at 17 straight meetings going back to June 2004. Each hike has been by 25 basis points; this has taken the rate from 1% to 5.25%. The CPI data were released on the same day Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be addressing Congress for his semiannual report on the economy. On Tuesday, the government said wholesale inflation remained high last month. The producer price index rose by 0.5% in June, topping estimates of a 0.3% advance. Excluding food and energy, the core PPI rose 0.2%, in line with expectations.