Consumers await key inflation data as hopes for 'soft landing' linger

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Elevated inflation continues to pervade the U.S. economy.

And while the pace of 12-month price increases has slowed from the near-double-digit highs reached in the summer of 2022, American consumers are still encountering higher prices compared with before the pandemic.

With a few exceptions, economists agree that the higher prices are most likely here to stay. Now, the question is how quickly price growth for consumer goods and services will continue to slow.

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the consumer price index for January. Estimates are for a 12-month increase of 2.9%, down from 3.4% in December. Excluding food and gas, expectations are for a reading of 3.7%, little changed from 3.9%.