U.S. Consumer Prices Inch Up 0.1% In September, Less Than Expected
(RTTNews) - Consumer prices in the U.S. showed a slight uptick in the month of September, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1 percent in September after rising by 0.2 percent in August. Economists had expected prices to increase by another 0.2 percent.
Over half of the modest increase in consumer prices came as prices for shelter edged up by 0.2 percent, although prices for apparel, motor vehicle insurance, recreation, and airline fares also rose.
Meanwhile, the report said energy prices fell by 0.5 percent in September after jumping by 1.9 percent in August, with the pullback partly reflecting a 1.7 percent slump in natural gas prices. Food prices were unchanged.
Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices crept up by 0.1 percent in September, matching the uptick seen in the previous month. Core prices had been expected to rise by 0.2 percent.
Prices for used cars and trucks plunged by 3.0 percent during the month, limiting the upside for the core consumer price index.
The report also said the annual rate of consumer price growth slowed to 2.3 percent in September from 2.7 percent in August, while the annual rate of core consumer price growth was unchanged at 2.2 percent.
"Overall, the September figures confirm that core inflation has lost a little momentum in recent months, and the stronger dollar will put downward pressure on goods prices over the coming year or so," said Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.
He added, "But with activity growth still strong and underlying inflation in the services sector still trending higher, we suspect the Fed will continue to raise interest rates over the coming quarters."
On Wednesday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing producer prices rebounded in line with economist estimates in the month of September.
The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand increased by 0.2 percent in September after edging down by 0.1 percent in August. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2 percent.
Excluding decreases in prices for food and energy, core producer prices still rose by 0.2 percent in September after slipping by 0.1 percent in August. The uptick in core prices also matched economist estimates.
The report also said the annual rate of producer price growth slowed to 2.6 percent in September from 2.8 percent in August, although the annual rate of core producer price growth accelerated to 2.5 percent from 2.3 percent.
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