A 1.4% rise in the consumer price index for the first half was its best performance since 1986, with consumer prices up a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

The core rate of CPI inflation-which excludes food and energy-turned in its best six-month performance in 32 years. The measure rose at a 2.4% rate in the first half of 1997, its smallest increase during that period since 1965.

Restraining the June rise in consumer prices were declines in key components, including apparel and upkeep, which fell 0.2%, and transportation, which fell 0.3%. Airline fares fell 1.2% in June, while automobile finance charges fell 0.4%. Energy prices were unchanged. On the plus side, food prices rose 0.2% in June, and housing costs rose 0.3%. Medical care prices rose 0.2%, and entertainment costs rose 0.5%.

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