WASHINGTON – Cheaper gasoline lowered overall U.S. consumer prices slightly in October. But outside the steep drop at the pump, inflation stayed mild.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index fell 0.1 percent last month, down from a 0.2 percent gain in September. The October decrease was primarily due to a 2.9 percent drop in gasoline costs, the largest since April. Over the last 12 months, overall prices have increased 1 percent, well below the Federal Reserve's inflation target of two percent.
Excluding volatile energy and food costs, so-called core prices rose 0.1 percent in October from September and just 1.7 percent over the past 12 months. The prices for new motor vehicles, clothing and medical care declined last month. But airfares rose a whopping 3.6 percent.