Slight September consumer price increase points to low inflation


Once again in September, a few morsels for the inflation hawks, but not much more because inflation remains tame. Consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in the month, the U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday, as energy prices and medical costs offset a decline in housing costs.

Further, the core rate -- which excludes the often-volatile food and energy component -- also rose 0.2 percent. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected consumer prices to increase 0.1 percent in September, and the core rate to rise 0.1 percent. Consumer prices rose 0.4 in August, were unchanged in July, and increased 0.7 percent and 0.1 percent in June and May, respectively.

What's more, the U.S. economy over the past year still shows little sign of inflation: Consumer prices have actually declined 1.3 percent in the past 12 months.