By Agence France-Presse U.S. consumer prices climbed a moderate 0.2% in September, curbed by a slide in energy costs, government figures showed Oct. 19. Over the year, prices were up 2.5%. Stripping out volatile food and energy costs, core prices rose more sharply in the month, however, advancing 0.3%, mostly due to a leap in hotel prices. Over the year, core prices were up 2% -- the highest since November 2002. A breakdown of September's numbers showed:
- Energy prices fell 0.4% in the month, with household fuels slumping 0.9% even as motor fuel edged up 0.1%.
- Food prices were flat.
- Medical care costs surged 0.3%.
- Housing prices gained 0.2%, boosted by 2.9% rise in the cost of lodging away from home.
- Prices also rose 0.2% for transportation, 0.2% for recreation, 0.6% for education, 0.3% for communication and 0.3% for cigarettes.
- Clothing prices were unchanged.