WASHINGTON (AP) — Less-expensive gas likely slowed U.S. consumer inflation in May.

But when the government reports the latest monthly price data Wednesday, Wall Street traders and Federal Reserve officials will be paying particularly close attention to an index that excludes volatile food and energy costs.

These so-called “core” prices are expected to have risen 0.3% from April to May, the same as in the previous month.

Compared with a year earlier, core inflation is expected to have dipped.

Even as overall inflation moderates, such necessities as groceries, rent and health care are much pricier than they were three years ago — a continuing source of public discontent and a political threat to President Joe Biden’s re-election bid.