U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2 percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, the third consecutive monthly increase, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The energy prices edged up 0.2 percent last month, with gasoline prices rising 1.0 percent. Food prices also moved up by 0.1 percent in July. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the so-called \"core\" inflation index rose 0.2 percent in July. They have increased 1.7 percent in the past 12 months ending July, below the Federal Reserve\'s inflation target of 2 percent. Economists monitor core prices to get a sense of broader inflation trends, a key barometer for monetary policy decision of the central bank.