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U.S. consumer prices up 0.1% in September

Staff writer |
U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in September, better than market expectation, the Labor Department said.

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Consumer Price Index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, increased 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in September, after a decline of 0.2 percent in August. Over the last 12 months, the index increased 1.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in shelter and food index outweighed declines in energy index to result in the seasonally adjusted all items increase, said the Labor Department. The food index rose 0.3 percent, while the energy index fell 0.7 percent.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the so-called core CPI, increased 0.1 percent in September, compared to zero growth in August. The core CPI was up 1.7 percent in the past 12 months, the same increase as for the 12 months ending August.

Both the headline CPI and the core number were below the Federal Reserve's inflation target of 2 percent, which will leave room for the Federal Reserve to maintain loose monetary policy.

The Fed is on track to end its bond-buying program this month and investors are now closely monitoring when the central bank would raise benchmark interest rates from near zero.

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