U.S. September Consumer Prices Up 0.2%

By Agence France-Presse U.S. inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, rose 0.2% in September, while the core rate, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, was up 0.1%, the Labor Department said Oct. 18. The rise in headline CPI was in line with market expectations, while the gain in the core rate was below expectations. On a year-on-year basis, the CPI rose 1.5% and the core rate increased 2.2%. The increase in headline CPI was led by a rise in energy prices and supported by widespread gains in the other components of the report. The report shows that consumer price inflation for the year is running at a lower level than last year. Over the first nine months of the year, the CPI is running at a 2.6% annual rate, down slightly from a 2.7% rate over the first nine months of last year. The core rate is running at a 2.1% pace over the first nine months of the year, down from a 2.8% rate over the same period in 2001. In September, energy prices rose 0.7%, marking the third consecutive increase and the largest gain in the complex since April. Food prices rose 0.2%, largely on the back of fresh fruit and poultry price gains of 1.9% and 1.0%, respectively. New vehicle prices rose 0.5% in September, the largest increase since August 1998. Despite this, new vehicle prices are down 2.5% for the first nine months of the year. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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