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US consumer prices rise to eight-month high

Business | Oct 13, 2017 22:11
U.S. consumer prices gained by 0.5 percent in September, the largest increase in eight months. The result reflects another big jump in energy prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which shut Gulf Coast refineries and caused gasoline prices to spike around the country.
The September increase in the closely watched consumer price index was the biggest one-month gain since a 0.6 percent rise in January, the Labor Department reported today.
Energy prices shot up 6.1 percent, led by a 13.1 percent surge in gasoline. Analysts believe the impact of the hurricane will be temporary.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose a tiny 0.1 percent in September.
Over the past year, overall prices are up 2.2 percent, while core inflation has risen 1.7 percent.
The changes in inflation from the third quarter this year compared to the third quarter a year ago will result in a cost-of-living adjustment of 2 percent next year for more than 70 million recipients of Social Security and other government benefits. It is the biggest annual increase since a 3.6 percent rise in 2012.
So far this year, inflation by a measure preferred by the Federal Reserve has been falling farther from the Fed’s target of 2 percent annual price gains. In the latest month, the annual increase was just 1.4 percent.-AP


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