WASHINGTON – Higher gas costs drove up U.S. consumer prices in September for the second straight month. But outside energy, there was little sign of inflation.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 per cent in September, matching the August increase. In the past 12 months, prices have increased 2 per cent. That’s in line with the Federal Reserve’s inflation target.
Food prices rose only 0.1 per cent. The cost of meat, chicken and eggs fell. Dairy prices rose.
Excluding volatile food and energy costs, prices rose just 0.1 per cent. In the past year, so-called core prices have increased 2 per cent.
Modest inflation leaves consumers with more money to spend, which can boost growth. It also allows the Federal Reserve to continue with its efforts to rekindle the economy.