CPI report: US inflation cools to 3.2% in October

Latest Consumer Price Index report seen as a positive development for Federal Reserve

Prices of goods and services increased at a slower rate in October in the US. AFP
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US inflation came in cooler than expected last month, a positive development for the Federal Reserve as policymakers consider whether to raise interest rates one more time this year.

The Consumer Price Index was flat in October, on a monthly basis, after a 0.4 per cent increase in September, data released by the US Labour Department showed on Wednesday.

Prices rose 3.2 per cent on an annual basis, down from 3.7 per cent in September.

Tuesday's report came in cooler than anticipated, as a survey of economists carried out by data firm FactSet anticipated inflation would increase 3.3 per cent year-on-year.

A decline in petrol prices was offset by a rise in housing costs which accounted for the CPI being unchanged, the Labour Department said.

Meanwhile, food prices increased 0.3 per cent last month after rising 0.2 per cent in September.

Core inflation – which excludes food and energy – rose 0.2 per cent in October and 4.0 per cent year-on-year, also below expectations. It was the smallest annual increase since September 2021, the Labour Department said.

The Consumer Price Index is one of numerous economic indicators the Federal Reserve monitors to determine its monetary policy decisions.

The Fed has left open the possibility of issuing one more rate increase of 25 basis points in its final meeting this year, although investors largely believe rates will be held steady.

Updated: November 15, 2023, 4:59 AM