Consumer Prices Drop Half Percentage Point

Energy prices fall 7.2%

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Labor Department's Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell half a percentage point in September, following a two-tenths percent increase in August.

Energy prices declined 7.2% last month, only their second decline in the past seven months.

The core CPI, the nominal figure minus changes in the prices of fuel and food, increased two-tenths of a percentage point in September, the same level of increase as in July and August.

Consumer prices increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of eight-tenths of a percent in the third quarter of this year, dramatically lower than the first quarter rate of 4.3% and the second quarter's 5.1%, the Labor Department reported on Oct. 18. For the first nine months of 2006, consumer prices are up 3.4%, the same rate as for all of 2005, the department said.

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