BalloonsREUTERS/Stefan WermuthA balloon rises into the sky during the International Balloon Fiesta near Bristol in western England.

December consumer prices data are out.

The consumer price index rose 0.3% in December from a month earlier, right in line with expectations. The December gains brought the headline year-over-year inflation rate to 1.5% from November’s 1.2% level, right in line with expectations.

Core consumer prices — a measure that strips out food and energy — rose 0.1% from the previous month, as expected, marking a slowdown from November’s 0.2% rate of growth but leaving the year-over-year rate of core price inflation unchanged at 1.7%.

The inflation rate is under close scrutiny by market participants as it takes on increased importance in the Federal Reserve’s forward guidance on the likely future path of short-term interest rates. Most project tame inflation in 2014, which will offer continued justification for extraordinary monetary stimulus from the Fed.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.