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U.S. Consumer Price Growth Matches Estimates In September

Consumer prices in the U.S. showed a modest increase in the month of September, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Tuesday, with the uptick in prices matching economist estimates.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2 percent in September after climbing by 0.4 percent in August.

Prices for used cars and trucks spiked by 6.7 percent, accounting for most of the monthly increase by the headline index.

The report said energy prices increased by 0.8 percent amid a jump in prices for natural gas, while food prices came in unchanged.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices still edged up by 0.2 percent in September following the 0.4 percent growth seen in August. The uptick in core prices also matched estimates.

The modest increase in core prices reflected the soaring prices for used cars and trucks as well as higher prices for shelter, new vehicles, and recreation.

Meanwhile, decreases in prices for motor vehicle insurance, airline fares, and apparel helped to limit the upside for core prices.

Compared to the same month a year ago, consumer prices in September were up by 1.4 percent, slightly faster than the 1.3 percent growth seen in August.

Core consumer prices were up by 1.7 percent year-over-year in September, unchanged from the annual growth seen in the previous month.

“Base effects mean that core inflation on both the CPI and PCE measures is still likely to temporarily spike well above 2% early next year,” said Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, “Overall, however, the September CPI figures suggest that some of the initial upward pressure on prices resulting from supply constraints is now starting to fade.”

On Wednesday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release a separate report on producer prices in the month of September.

Producer prices are expected to edge up by 0.2 percent in September after rising by 0.3 percent, while core prices are also expected to tick up by 0.2 percent after climbing by 0.4 percent.

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