Concerns that consumers could begin to expect higher inflation to last longer spur a more aggressive rate-rise path

As inflation climbs in the U.S., rising food and energy costs have pushed the nation’s most popular price index to its highest level in four decades. WSJ’s Gwynn Guilford explains how the consumer-price index works and what it can tell you about inflation. Illustration: Jacob Reynolds

Another big increase in consumer prices last month keeps the Federal Reserve on track to raise its benchmark interest rate by 0.75 percentage point at its meeting later this month.

The consumer-price index rose 9.1% in June from a year earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday, a 41-year high. The 8.6% rise in the CPI in May added to signs last month that the inflation outlook was worsening and prompted the Fed to accelerate its rate increases at its June meeting.

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