Consumer prices rose only modestly in October, offering evidence that could lead the
to alter its long-standing view that inflation remains a danger to the U.S. economy.
Consumer Price Index
rose 0.2% in October, following a larger-than-expected 0.5%
rise in September, the
said Thursday. The core CPI -- which excludes the often-volatile food and energy sector and gives a clearer picture of inflation -- also rose by 0.2%, compared with a 0.3% rise in September.
Both the headline and core CPI figures matched the expectations of economists polled by
The data comes a day after the Federal Reserve met in Washington and kept interest rates
unchanged. The Fed did not, however, change its view that inflation remained a danger.
Over the last 17 months the Fed has raised rates six times in an effort to cool the economy and engineer its "soft landing" scenario of moderate growth. In recent weeks, it appears the Fed's efforts have succeeded and now many economists expect an interest rate reduction in the first half of next year.
The Labor Department said energy prices -- which surged 3.8% in September -- slowed to a 0.2% rise in October. Economists had feared that rising oil prices could lead to general price inflation.