Wednesday's report is expected to show little progress against inflation

Gas prices are displayed at a gas station on March 12, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

The closely watched Labor Department report released on Wednesday is expected to show that little progress has been made in the battle to lower inflation.

If so, that would be bad news for consumers, market participants and Federal Reserve officials, who are hoping rate increases will be slow enough that they can begin gradually lowering interest rates later this year.

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