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HomeNewsInternational NewsUS consumer inflation eased to 7.7% over past 12 months

US consumer inflation eased to 7.7% over past 12 months

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By PAUL WISEMAN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Price increases moderated in the United States last month in the latest sign that the inflation pressures that have gripped the nation might be easing as the economy slows and consumers grow more cautious.

Consumer inflation reached 7.7% in October from a year earlier and 0.4% from September, the government said Thursday. The year-over-year increase, a slowdown from 8.2% in September, was the smallest rise since January. A separate gauge called core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 6.3% in the past 12 months and 0.3% from September.

The numbers were all lower than economists had expected.

Helping drive the inflation slowdown from September to October were used car prices, which dropped for a fourth straight month. Also down were the prices of clothing and medical care. Food price increases slowed. By contrast, energy prices rebounded in October after having declined in August and September.

Even with last month’s tentative easing of inflation, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to keep raising interest rates to try to stem persistently high price increases. But Thursday’s better-than-expected data raised the possibility that the Fed could decide to slow its rate hikes — a prospect that sent stock prices jumping immediately after the government issued the figures.

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