WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer price increases eased in August compared to a year ago, the government said Tuesday, but the drop was modest and may not be noticed much by financially squeezed American households.

The inflation rate was up at an annualized 8.3% rate in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The figure was down from the 8.5% mark recorded in July and the 9.1% inflation rate in June, which was the biggest increase in four decades.

Even as U.S. motorists have gladly watched gasoline prices fall sharply in recent weeks — down 10.6% from their peak — costs for food and apartment rentals have continued to increase.

Read the rest