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Consumer price index flat in October, but up 3.2% from last year


Medical care and commodities both showed modest increases in October.

 CPI shows slowing inflation: ©Cagkan - stock.adobe.com

CPI shows slowing inflation: ©Cagkan - stock.adobe.com

The consumer price index in October was flat compared to September, but showed an increase of 3.2% from the same time last year. Both numbers were less than expected by economists and investors.

Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2% and 4% compared to a forecast of 0.3% and 4.1% respectively. The annual rate increase hasn’t been this low since September of 2021, but is still above the Federal Reserve Bank’s 2% target. Energy prices dropped 2.5% for the month, offsetting a 0.3% increase in the food index. Most economists now believe that the Federal Reserve will not initiate any new rate hikes this year.

Medical care costs were up 0.3% for the second consecutive month, but are down 2% year-over-year. Medical care commodities were up 0.4% in October, and up 4.7% year-over-year.

Vehicle costs decreased in October, with new vehicle prices declining 0.1%, while used vehicle prices were down 0.8% for the month and down 7.1% from a year ago. However, motor vehicle insurance increased 1.9% for the month and is up 19.2% from a year ago.

Shelter costs rose 0.3% in October, with a year-over-year increase of 6.7%. Airfares declined 0.9% and are down 13.2% annually.

The Federal Reserve has increased interest rates 11 times to boost the lending rate by 5.25%, but economists say these positive numbers make them less likely to increase them again when they meet in December.

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