The Consumer Price Index increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% for July, according to a Labor Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.

After gas prices helped push consumer prices up 0.5% in June, analysts' expectations for July proved right on the money.

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Source: Labor Department 

According to the report, the Index's increase was a result of broad-sweeping price bumps across the spectrum, including shelter (0.2%), gasoline (1%), apparel (0.6%), and food (0.1%). Excluding more volatile food and energy prices, the CPI still clocked in at analyst expectations of 0.2%. Natural gas prices proved to be the big equalizer this month, down 2.8%, after a 0.4% decrease in June.

Over the last 12 months, the CPI has headed 2% higher, fueled primarily by a 4.7% jump in energy prices. Commodities and used cars and trucks are the only two categories to decrease in price, dropping 0.2% and 2.1%, respectively.

The article Cheap Natural Gas Keeps CPI in Check originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFJLo. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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