Consumer prices, cushioned by cheaper gasoline, rose a scant 0.2 percent in June, indicating an annual inflation rate of 4.1 percent for the first half of the year, the Labor Department said Tuesday.
Inflation in the first half of 1983 was 3.3 percent. While this year's rate is a bit higher, it is still running below expectations raised by the strong economic growth of the past six months. The nation's gross national product, measuring the value of all goods and services, rose 8.8 percent in the first half of '84.
Stable world oil prices pulled down the overall energy index in the CPI 0.7 percent. Food prices increased 0.1 percent. Transportation fell 0.2 percent. Clothing prices dropped 0.3 percent. Entertainment was up 0.5 percent. Medical costs were also up 0.5 percent. Housing costs rose 0.2 percent.
June's consumer price index means the government's sample market basket of goods and services that cost $100 in 1967 cost $317.70 last month.