WASHINGTON – The United States’ consumer-price index rose 0.1 percent in October from the previous month and 2 percent from a year earlier, the Labor Department said on Wednesday.
The slight month-over-month rise in the CPI was due to a pullback in fuel prices, which had risen in September because of the impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
The CPI had climbed by 0.5 percent in September from a month earlier, its biggest increase in eight months.
Gasoline prices – which had surged by 13.1 percent in September due to disruptions to Gulf of Mexico refineries, the biggest jump since June 2009 – fell by 2.4 percent last month.
Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.2 percent in October from a month earlier after inching up 0.1 percent in September.
Last month’s annual rise in consumer prices (2 percent) was lower than in September, when the annual inflation rate came in at 2.2 percent.
Core prices rose 1.8 percent last month from October 2016, up from a 1.7 percent annual increase in September.
After years in which annual inflation had come in below the US Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target, consumer prices lately have been rising at a clip that is at or above that threshold.
The US central bank has made two moves this year to raise its benchmark interest rate, which currently is at a target range of between 1 percent and 1.25 percent.
The Fed is expected to raise its federal-funds rate at its last policy meeting of 2017, which is scheduled for mid-December.