WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer prices rose modestly in October, as low gasoline costs and a strong dollar have suppressed inflation.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent last month after falling in September and August. Gas costs increased 0.4 percent in October but have plunged 27.8 percent over the past 12 months.
Overall consumer prices have risen a slim 0.2 percent from a year ago. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, advanced 0.2 percent from September and 1.9 percent from a year ago.
The Federal Reserve targets annual inflation at 2 percent. The overall number is well short of that goal, but core inflation is close. Fed officials meet next month to decide whether to raise interest rates held at near-zero since December 2008.