Consumer Price Index rises 0.2% in September

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The overall Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in September to 216, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. Despite the gain, over the past 12 months the index now has fallen 1.3%. The index for food and beverages, which rose 0.1% in August, fell 0.1% in September to 217.7.

The energy index increased in September behind gains in gasoline, fuel oil and electricity, which more than offset a decline in the index for natural gas.

The food index fell 0.1% in September after rising 0.1% in August. The decline marked the sixth time in the past eight months that the index has finished lower than the previous month.

The sharpest declines occurred in fruits and vegetables, which fell 1.2% to 270.1, and in meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which eased 1% to 200.6. Also declining was the index for food at home, which fell 0.3% to 213.3, its eighth decline in the past 10 months.

The index for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials finished unchanged at 163.

The biggest gainer during September was the index for dairy and related products, moving up 0.5% to 193.4. The increase followed nine straight months of declines.

The cereals and bakery product index, meanwhile, advanced 0.3% to 251.7, while the index for food at home rose 0.1% to 213.3.

The other two components of the food and beverage index — food away from home and alcoholic beverages — rose 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively, the B.L.S. said.

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