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Annual inflation falls to 3.1 percent

Consumer prices rose 3.1 percent over the past year and 0.3 percent in January, according to data released Tuesday by the Labor Department.

The annual inflation rate fell from 3.4 percent in December while monthly price growth accelerated slightly from a 0.2 percent rate last month.

Economists expected the annual inflation rate to fall to 2.9 percent and monthly inflation to come in around 0.2 percent, according to consensus estimates.

The January inflation decline is the latest sign the U.S. economy is holding up better than many experts expected with just nine months until the November elections.

President Biden is attempting to convince voters he is better suited to handle the economy after guiding the U.S. through a record-breaking rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Job growth has remained strong throughout Biden’s presidency and inflation has fallen sharply after peaking at an annual rate of 9.1 percent in June 2022.

Even so, Biden remains locked in a tight race with former President Trump and lags his predecessor in polling on his economic record. Trump beat Biden by 11 points when voters were asked who is better at handling the economy in a Financial Times poll released Monday.

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