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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Consumer inflation rose in May, largely reflecting a big jump in gasoline and electricity costs. Prices for most goods other than energy products were well-controlled.

The Labor Department reported Friday that that its Consumer Price Index, the government's most closely watched inflation gauge, climbed by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent last month, following a 0.3 percent increase in April.

The latest reading on consumer prices matched analysts' expectations.

The ``core'' rate of inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, inched up a tiny 0.1 percent in May, compared with a 0.2 percent rise the month before. The core performance was better than what many analysts were predicting and marked the best showing in five months.

With inflation well-contained, the Federal Reserve has been able to act aggressively to stave off recession, slashing interest rates five times this year and driving down borrowing costs to the lowest point in seven years.